Portland Hotel Society board hires former City of Vancouver finance director Ken Bayne

The former director of finance, planning and treasury for the City of Vancouver has been hired by the new board of directors of the Portland ...
The Pennsylvania Hotel, which is operated by the Portland Hotel Society

The former director of finance, planning and treasury for the City of Vancouver has been hired by the new board of directors of the Portland Hotel Society, likely as part of the management team.

Ken Bayne confirmed April 14 that he’d been hired by the new board, but added he could not at that time confirm exactly what his new position will be.

Bayne retired from the city in April 2012, where he also worked as comptroller of budgets and research from 1989 to 1999 and held the position of general manager of business planning and services from 2008 to 2012. Bayne also sits on the Municipal Pension Plan Board of Trustees.

The Portland Hotel Society went into receivership in March after an internal audit by Vancouver Coastal Health accused its board of directors of misspending, including more than $12,000 spent on limousine services.

A report on the board’s finances was released a day after cofounder Mark Townsend announced his resignation, along with his wife and co-executive director Liz Evans, policy director Dan Small and human resources director Kerstin Steurzbecher. The report noted that during the 2009-2010 and 2011-2012 fiscal years, the board spent $69,000 on restaurants and $8,395 on spa services. Townsend, Evans, Small and Steurzbecher also spent $300,000 on flight, hotel and conference expenses.

In an open letter written to the Vancouver Courier dated April 4, 2014, Rich Coleman, the minister responsible for housing, said in response to the recent upheaval to the society, a new “highly-professional and capable board of directors” will hire a management team with the “proper values and administrative skills necessary to do the job right this time.”

“I am optimistic the new board can renew the organization in a way that does not adversely affect clients,” Coleman wrote.

Coleman added he’s confident the society’s network of service providers can continue to improve the housing and services available for low-income individuals both in the Downtown Eastside and across the province.

“Together we will push the status quo and pursue ideas,” wrote Coleman.

Vancouver Courier

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