The City of North Battleford is looking to create a new public relations/intergovernmental manager position.
There are a number of reasons for the move cited by City Manager Randy Patrick in his presentation to council Monday. It was noted North Battleford had been working with communities around the region on regional issues and expects to do more of that.
Also cited was a need to engage with the provincial government in Regina.
It was noted the city’s ability to engage the government is challenged by distance and a small population compared to larger cities like Saskatoon and Regina.
The city has also expressed a desire to combat negative news stories about the city in the media.
“We have issues with our reputation, public relations issues that are challenging both our businesses and the city,” said Patrick.
“When provincial media pays attention to us it’s usually a negative story. They’re not here when there’s good stories.”
The suggestion was they needed someone to help with some of these issues — “one who could help us on regional and who could help us on public relations.”
The intention is to use funding from the Recreation Programming position and a portion of a Junior Civil Technologist position, and to eliminate those two positions to create the new intergovernmental relations-PR position.
Council members indicated they thought the new position was a good idea.
“Sometimes a smaller urban city or urban centre has a hard time making the noise sometimes we need to do,” said Councillor Kent Lindgren. “I am hopeful this will enable us to do that.”
Also cited was the need to build regional relationships. “It does require resources to see those through because relationships take time and they take attention,” said Mayor Ryan Bater. Bater added that by approving the position council was “making a very significant statement of the importance of those regional relationships.”
The resolution to authorize the hiring of a public relations and intergovernmental relations officer was approved.
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