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Communications officer leaves position with regional district

Andrew Stuckey resigned earlier this month from his part-time position at the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen. - Submitted Photo
Andrew Stuckey resigned earlier this month from his part-time position at the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.
— image credit: Submitted Photo

The regional district’s first ever communications officer has left after less than a year on the job.

Andrew Stuckey resigned earlier this month from his part-time position at the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

“With (additional) funding not approved for 2014, I elected to go back to building my communications consulting business,” he said in a statement.

“I have a great relationship with the good people at the regional district. Frankly, I now have a better understanding of how hard this small, dedicated group works to maintain 135-plus services and will do all I can to support those efforts in my new endeavour.”

RDOS board chairman Mark Pendergraft said he wasn’t completely surprised by the resignation.

“It isn’t the highest paying job, particularly being part-time,” he said, noting that “as we went through the budget process there didn’t seem to be a desire by the board to increase the budget for communications.”

Pendergraft said work previously handled by Stuckey, such as co-ordinating interview requests from media and writing press releases, will revert back to managers.

Prior to joining the RDOS as an employee, Stuckey worked as a contractor to the organization through his consulting firm, StarNorth Communications.

He was hired as the local government’s sole communications person on a $25,000 budget in June 2013. In December, the RDOS board voted against a staff proposal to increase his budget to $52,515 annually.

During the board’s deliberations, chief administrative officer Bill Newell said Stuckey billed approximately $75 an hour for his services as a consultant, but earned between $30 and $35 an hour while on staff.

Newell said this week the RDOS has no plans to rehire for the position and will instead go back to contracting out communications jobs on project-by-project basis. He didn’t rule out awarding work to Stuckey’s consulting firm.

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