June 30, 2012

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About Those City Headhunter Costs

Hi Don,

In response to your information request, I have been advised by our Human Resources team of the following fees for executive search services by the City of St. Albert:

Executive Director of Economic Development:

City Manager:

GM Corporate Services:

In general, executive search firm fees are calculated at 25-30% of 1 years wages. The expenses for the Executive Director of Economic Development and GM Corporate Services represent the portion charged by the search firm up to the point of cancellation of their services.

If you have any additional questions regarding this information, please let me know.

Patrick Draper
City Manager
City of St. Albert


Thanks for that Patrick, our inquisitive reader will be pleased the city responded openly. That is an interesting formula you use to determine those costs. Expensive, but interesting. Thanks also to councillor Cam MacKay for his assistance in obtaining the figures.

Maple Flag At Cold Lake - Photos By James

A St. Albert's Place regular reader was recently at Cold Lake to take in the annual Maple Flag event. He wishes to be know simply as 'James', but has an obvious skill with a camera and sent us a series of photographs of various aircraft. We are presenting them a couple at a time in an ongoing series. They should be of interest to many of our military family readers as well as aviation buffs.

French C-160 Transall transport taxiing past the control tower en route to takeoff.

Canadian CH-146 Griffon helicopter in Search & Rescue trim.

Citizens' Satisfaction Survey Reliability


"The truth" it's often said, "will set you free."

Then there's a truism: "There are lies, damn' lies, and statistics."

A truth that has come to me in my advanced years: wealth/power/influence always have (through history) conspired against the common man. Propaganda is (I believe) one of their best tools, persuading the common man that we can't possibly know or understand truth. Ergo: don't think, don't argue; just accept that what wealth/power/influence says, is the only "real" truth.

I believe that the reliability of statistics is scientifically valid, just as I believe in gravity. So, for example, it is common best practice for advertisers to contract with broadcasters to pay so many pennies per view multiplied by the number of views reported by a phone-out surveyor. And I think you can bet that both advertisers and broadcasters watch the surveyors like hawks for any higglety-pigglety.

We subscribers asked you to run this survey, Don, because we were aghast at the results of the City's 2010 satisfaction survey.
Our survey results show that the strong majority of the community feels the same way.

We make no allegations of impropriety. We merely say that those results strained credulity. We merely ask citizens to ask themselves which survey (ours, or the City's) is more credible.

In my view, there is no likelihood of
proving beyond healthy skepticism, other than hands-on-Bible, that the City's satisfaction surveys more accurately reflect true public opinion than ours.

There are and always have been, vested interests in the City's satisfaction surveys. And the numbers that go into their survey databases are easily fudged. We make no allegations of impropriety. We
do say that those two possibilities allow healthy skepticism.

Our survey, on the other hand, is
not subject to rejection in the same way.

On purpose. If there is a vested interest, I suggest the interest is to reveal truth. At long last, for citizens to know what citizens think.

On opportunity to participate. Every citizen with a computer who read the Gazette ads had an equal opportunity to participate. Those were the only filters on participation.

On process. Each respondent's answers to our survey went directly to online (distant and dis-interested) Survey-Monkey where the replies were collected and consolidated. And when the survey was ended, the results came back to you as ten images . Those images are damned hard to fudge! So your process can be demonstrated not to have the vulnerabilities that the City's survey has.

So, Don, in my view, truth is
demonstrably more likely to be found in our survey than in the City's.

And we thank you again for running our survey.

Deane Doucette,


All we did was provide the opportunity for your questions to be presented. Your actions in advertising it in the Gazette likely only enhanced the response and we were happy to provide that free service to you.
In the interest of conserving space, those results can be reviewed by readers using this link and scrolling down.

The Photography Of Paul Dicaire

Paul says he shot this one at sunset, but with the sunset behind him.
Trees before sunset_wide-cr

BBC News Feed:

« »

Welcome To St. Albert's Place Live Chat

Links To Other Stories In The News:

6 things that will change on Canada Day weekend - CBC

Millions without power as storms pound U.S. - CNN

B.C. carbon tax to increase one cent on Canada Day - CTV

Boonstock: Sun, beer and lots of music - Edmonton Journal

It's Ray day at Commonwealth - Edmonton Sun

The Things That People Send Us

For sale, Corvette taillights, good condition . . .



This Guy's


Just In Time For A Summer BBQ

Here's a short video on why you should spiral-cut your wieners before grilling them. Neat idea!


Playing Tonight At LB's Pub

Forty Below12345

About Growing Older

old lady in nightie
First ~ Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

Second ~ The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Third ~ Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me; I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.

Fourth ~ When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.

Fifth ~ You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

Sixth ~ I don't know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.

Seventh ~ One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it's such a nice change from being young.

Eighth ~ One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.

Ninth ~ Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

Tenth ~ Long ago, when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today it's called golf.

And, finally ~ If you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything to laugh at when you're old.

Kiva - loans that change lives


A roundup of bits from the web.

* Sinkhole swallows back half of home.

* Lone Star tick may make vegetarians of some.

* Drunk woman blames GPS for driving into sand trap.

* Don't drink the water from a garden hose.

* 21 pictures that will restore your faith in humanity.

Exotic Automobiles


Springtime In Holland

image0033Springtime In Holland
image0044Springtime In Holland

Kiva - loans that change lives

Remembering Hollywood Squares

These great questions and answers are from the days when 'Hollywood Squares' game show responses were spontaneous, not scripted. Peter Marshall was the host asking the questions, of course.

Peter Marshall: Your sheep has a temperature of 102. Is she normal?

Burt Reynolds: People think I'm not normal because I keep taking her temperature.

Peter Marshall: Why is the booby bird called the booby bird?

Karen Valentine: Because they have big ... feet.
St. Albert

City Council


Coffee At

$ervu$ Place



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Links To Today's Outstanding Photographs

Crown Horned Jellyfish

Seattle, Washington

Organized Rockpile

Motor Henge

New Hampshire Laneway

Today's Activity Corner

Word of the Day

Article of the Day

This Day in History

Today's Birthday

In the News

Quote of the Day

Spelling Bee
difficulty level:
score: -
please wait...
spell the word:

Match Up
Match each word in the left column with its synonym on the right. When finished, click Answer to see the results. Good luck!



Kiva - loans that change lives


By Don Sinclair