As Victoria News first reported on June 15, Mike Lai, the manager of the Johnson Street Bridge replacement project, will be leaving the City of Victoria on July 6 to go back to his old job as manager of transportation at the District of Saanich.
Lai joined the City in the summer of 2008, when Delcan was conducting its condition assessment of the old Blue Bridge. In 2009, he became the City’s point man on the replacement project, and he’s the only staffer who’s been dealing with it on a full-time basis since it began. Now he’s leaving the project at a critical stage, when three firms are negotiating the details of their bids to construct the replacement bridge.
Why is Lai going? On CTV this week, he said it’s because he was offered a great opportunity in Saanich:
If so, he probably won’t be making more money there. According to the latest Public Bodies Report (see page 3), Lai earned $150,056.88 at the City of Victoria in 2011. Saanich advertised the transportation manager position as paying a maximum 2011 salary of $10,376 per month — or $124,512 per year — plus benefits.
The City says the project will now be overseen by Peter Sparanese, the City’s manager of operations, who was the main advocate on City staff in 2009 for replacing the old Blue Bridge. Sparanese and director of engineering Dwayne Kalynchuk have also been reassigned to oversee the bridge contract negotiations and procurement, according to a May 25 staff report (see page 6).Tweet