Tonight, October 28, Council had a special Committee of the Whole meeting to review the Organization changes proposed by the CAO, Tracey Vaughan. It was preceded by a two hour closed session to discuss a subject that was not disclosed although there was talk of “Cost Savings”. The general impression I got from the meeting was that Councillors were generally accepting the recommendations with no major objections. In fact, Councillor Emily Chorley asked that since the By-Law Enforcement manager, the Grant Writer and the additional Building Official were all cost neutral, why not hire them sooner than July 1? Councillor Brian Darling made a motion to that effect which passed. Council then discussed each new position and this provided some additional clarity.
Some positions only
- Hiring a Long Range Planner would mean there would be less reliance on consultants in the Planning Department.
- The Manager of Transformation Initiatives would centralize attention to customer service. This person would set expectations and report on them.
- The Manager of Economic Development is required by the Strategic Plan and is especially important as the Town emerges from the pandemic.
- The Procurement manager would centralize procurement and would mitigate risk. It would also change the philosophy of how the Town operates.
Although the CAO’s report suggests reviewing the Councillors’ Coordinator roles, Tracey also suggests deferring that to the next term of Council The reason is because doing this now would create a lot of work and given the work involved with the organization change, it was felt it would be best to be deferred.
Overall, the open session meeting accomplished little- it was made clear that the decision on proceeding would be made in budget deliberations. The schedule for these is here. Deputy Mayor Suzanne Seguin was clearly uncomfortable with the big tax increase required and although there was talk of cost savings, no detail was provided.
Addendum – 2 November 2021
At the regular Council meeting on November 1 when the above decision was ratified, some questions were asked and some items clarified:
- The draft budgets now available do include funds as required for the above changes – including office supplies and training
- Directors responsible for new staff will be providing the deliverables for the new managers
- Deputy Mayor Suzanne Seguin asked some questions:
- Could the phase-in be 3-5 years instead of the 1-2 years proposed (CAO response – can be discussed in budget deliberations)
- Why not make new position contact positions pending evaluation of their success?
- Why have new positions as managers when most do not have direct reports? (CAO Response – they manage process and work)
- The EDI Manager position job description was not provided.
- The location and office space for new positions have not been decided.
Stay tuned for reports from the Budget discussions.
Previous Reports on Cobourg News Blog
- Special Council Meeting to Discuss Organization Review – includes proposed Organization chart – 26 October 2021
- Over $1M Tax Increase for Organization changes – 5 October 2021
- Early Look at Organization Review – 17 Sept 2021