troubling hire raises ire

Terry Weninger might very well be the best guy to run Yukon College. So he should have applied for the job.

Terry Weninger might very well be the best guy to run Yukon College.

So he should have applied for the job.

Instead, he was anointed without the necessary review or evaluation.

Frankly, the whole affair is disturbing.

Weninger was the chair of the selection committee. It was his job to lead the search for a new college president.

As chair, he presumably wielded some influence over the process.

So it is unseemly that, after college staff and management interviewed three prospective candidates, Weninger himself would emerge with a three-year contract to run the college after a closed-door meeting.

The chair of the selection committee should not be a last-minute entry into the race.

The guy was involved in shaping the interview questions. In asking the questions of the candidates.

Weninger was involved in evaluating their performance and would have helped shape recommendation to the board of governors.

Then Weninger, out of the blue, got the job.

That’s outrageous.

According to the college, the lead candidate turned the job down. The other two were deemed unworthy to hold the job.

Who made that determination?

A troubling question. One of many.

At the very least, the screening committee made a colossal mistake in selecting two of the candidates. At the very least, it cost the college a lot of money to fly those candidates north for the interviews.

And then the board of governors hired Weninger, the guy who was in charge of that seemingly bungled process, without subjecting him to the same formal interview challenge.

Heck, according to the college union, staff know more about the education and management philosophies of the failed candidates than they do of Weninger.

It’s not acceptable.

And, unfortunately, it casts a shadow on Weninger’s leadership of the college.

It didn’t have to happen this way.

The college board’s handling of this affair is deeply troubling.

So much so, a third-party investigation into Weninger’s hiring should be held. (RM)


Solving the

worker shortage

This summer, the Yukon finds itself in an unusual situation.

There are too many jobs, and too few people to fill them.

It’s a classic case of be careful what you wish for.

A few years ago, the economy was chugging along, albeit slowly. People demanded better.

Well, government opened its treasury and started an unprecedented spending spree; gold hit $700 an ounce and the base-metal market, fueled by China’s resource-hungry economy, shot up.

And so, the economy didn’t just improve, it got white hot.

Unfortunately, the Yukon population didn’t grow in tandem with the economy.

And now we have a problem.

Ask just about any business owner and you’ll find a shortage of warm bodies to handle the new work.

And this is choking off economic growth.

It’s a bit like pouring loonies into a shot glass — pretty quickly you’re going to find them spilling onto the floor and rolling out the door.

Something has to be done.

This week, someone suggested a clever solution.

We have decided to float it to a wider audience.

Here it is …

Federal, territorial and municipal governments should lend employees to the private sector for a couple of months to help sling coffee, change sheets, stock shelves and generally help out where needed.

Heck, most of ‘em wouldn’t need training. These government workers could just return to their previous private-sector gigs for a couple of months.

The Public Service Commission should treat it like a straight secondment.

After all, the territory rolled along just fine with 2,500 civil servants volunteering for the Canada Winter Games.

So our public servants could pitch in again, for the sake of the economy.

At least for the summer. (RM)