council letter 

Mel Shelley, a consultant with expertise in municipal administration, has been hired by Whistler’s council to review "tensions and situations" that have developed within municipal hall. Shelley, the principal behind Urban Systems Ltd., a consulting firm with offices in Richmond and Kamloops, was hired last month. A letter from Mayor Ted Nebbeling to some staff members on Dec. 12 outlined the hiring of Shelley. However, the letter did not reach all staff. On Tuesday Acting Mayor Hugh O'Reilly re-issued the letter to all staff who report to department heads. As well, an invitation has been extended to the Staff and Firefighters' Relations Committees to participate in Shelley's review. Council members approved the decision at Monday's committee of the whole meeting after O'Reilly raised the issue. Nebbeling was away on holidays. The letter states that "Council as a whole has been concerned for some time that due to a tremendous workload we all have been carrying, there have been tensions and situations developed amongst all of us. "There is a justified fear that if we do not immediately start a process of evaluation and analyze the reasons for the frictions we see within the system, the team effort that has been, to a large extent, the reason for our success will be seriously damaged." In recent weeks municipal administrator Peter Kent has gone on stress-related medical leave, Fire Chief Tony Evans was given a five-day suspension and Bylaws Superintendent Calvin Logue has resigned.

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