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High cost of art gallery operations quizzed

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Special to The Journal

Two jobs at the Judith and Norman Alix Art Gallery will remain vacant while politicians review the cost of running the facility.

The gallery was advertising to replace a graphic artist and marketing representative. When Dawn-Euphemia Mayor Al Broad saw the calls for resumes, he thought it was the perfect opportunity to look at staffing levels there.

Broad told Lambton County councillors the art gallery has 12.34 staff positions and a budget of $1.29 million. “(In Dawn-Euphemia) we have a $5-million budget, 400 kilometers of roads … and 320 drains … and we have only that much staff,” he said.

Broad suggested it might be possible to reposition some employees instead of hiring.

“The idea time is now,” he said.

Broad said the gallery’s budget seems high, considering it’s open less than 40 hours a week.

“We need to knock some of that $1.29 million down, and if $875,000 is staff … that’s one of the places we really need to start.”

Warden Bev MacDougall said the positions are “long standing” and suggested a meeting next month at the gallery to help councillors understand what happens there.

– Heather Wright, Petrolia Independent





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