ARK TSISSEREV (FORMER VANCOUVER CITY ELECTRICIAN) IN THE NEWS AGAIN!
November 14, 2010 - By Frank Kurz
In what can only be termed as a subtle admission by Vancouver City Management that a serious mistake was made when Ark Tsisserev was summarily dismissed back in January of this year, a new job posting has recently appeared both on the City's website and APEGBC's. Reading through the job qualifications, the City is actually looking for someone with Ark's exact skill-set and management experience to head up the Electrical Inspections Branch with one little "twist". That individual will be designated the "Deputy City Electrician" and will report to none other than Will Johnston (a Structural Engineer) and Vancouver's Council appointed "City Electrician" (a position that has yet to be publicly confirmed or formally acknowledged, by the way).
The story (in all it's grotesque detail) has seen a resurrection on two local news blogs, Alex G. Tsakumis and City Caucus, but has yet to be picked up by the MSM (Main Stream Media). The fact that Vancouver has realized that their Electrical Inspections Branch NEEDS the guiding hand of a professional and experienced Electrical Engineer is one thing, but that it took NINE MONTHS to do so is positively criminal. Of the two media blogs I've referenced, only Alex Tsakumis has been doggedly pursuing this issue. My hat's off to him.
Until the City completes the hiring process and actually installs someone into the position, a number of industry stake holders, and the engineering community continue to harbour serious reservations about the state of Electrical Safety in Vancouver. We need someone that can demonstrate the leadership qualities Ark brought to the office, and that can ensure the department's mission statement “Electrical Safety is Paramount” isn't compromised any further. Political interference of the type we've witnessed here coupled with some obviously idiotic decisions by Council and senior City management has no place in a department that is directly responsible for citizen safety. There has never been a valid reason given for Ark Tsisserev's dismissal, or why the Mayor decided to deflect inquiries regarding his obvious role in it to HR Staff for over two months! (His Honour actually chaired the in-camera meeting in which it was decided Will Johnston would don the mantle of City Electrician in place of the eminently qualified Ark Tsisserev. I still can't fathom how he could even venture to deny his culpability in the affair in the first place.)
The new position advertised so publicly comes with a very healthy pay package that essentially mirrors what Ark was receiving. Why should YOU care? Well, he was paid out what amounts to fifteen months of salary as part of his severance (that's YOUR tax dollars). If the City actually hires someone to replace him ten months after his termination, they will essentially be paying DOUBLE salary/benefits for the next five months (YOUR dollars again!). Can anyone tell me what savings the City is going to realize here (or how they anticipate they still might - as the City Manager maintains - “save over the long term”)? They have essentially lifted the lid again on this controversial issue and the whole thing REEKS more than ever!
Related stories and articles on this site:
In case you missed it, you can read my "Message to the Mayor and Council" HERE!
There's a previous Editorial HERE.
February had one news item located HERE.
Another news article from March is located HERE.
An April Tech-News item can be found HERE.
A Tech-News Special Report is located HERE.
Another Tech-News EXTRA! is located HERE and HERE.
There are also several FAQ's regarding Fire Alarm Verification and Annual Testing you might be interested in reading.
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