| Mar 27, 2008

Feature Article - March 27, 2008

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Feature Article - March 27, 2008 Central Frontenac Council -Mar 24/08 By Jeff Green

New public works manager the key for Central Frontenac

Late last year Central Frontenac underwent a major organizational review, and the resulting report was presented to council at the end of January.

This week, at their regular meeting, Acting CAO John Duchene presented council with an implementation plan in response to the report. The first item on his list of priorities is filling a position that has been vacant for 14 months: that of public works manager.

A hiring process that took place a year ago did not yield a suitable candidate, and a second attempt is now underway. Duchene underlined how important this hiring process is to the municipality when he wrote in a report to council that, “The most significant ‘organizational’ changes facing the municipality occur in management within this department. It is hoped that this person should be in place, no later than the end of May.”

Duchene also pointed out that the new person should be allowed to “develop a degree of ownership over the suggested management changes” furthering the view that major changes to the public works department should be delayed until a new public works manager is found.

Interviews for the position are scheduled for the next couple of weeks.

The organizational review noted that morale in the public works department is a concern, and pointed as well to logistical problems in the current operations of the roads department.

Duchene did recommend that certain measures can be taken in public works before the manager is hired, including a review of job descriptions and salaries.

In non-public works related activities of the township, Duchene recommended that steps be taken in short order.

An organizational chart (excluding public works) will be presented to council at their next meeting. New job descriptions, again excluding public works, are expected by July 15. The appointment of township staff to those positions is to be confirmed by August 1, and the salary review completed by September 15.

Duchene’s implementation report included a four-page summary of all the consultant’s recommendations, broken down into departments.

“I think this process is huge,” said Mayor Janet Gutowski, “it’s important, and we have to start somewhere.”

“The process John recommends is good. I think the major changes are in public works and we need a public works manager first. I agree with the report,” said Councillor Frances Smith.

Duchene asked that a three-member steering committee of councilors be appointed to oversee the steps he has proposed.

“It is a three-meeting commitment, maximum,” Duchene said, “but there may be a lot of reading.”

Councillors Gary Smith, Bob Harvey, and Frances Smith volunteered to sit on the steering committee.

Other notes from council:

Rural Routes request for funding - A letter, along with a request for $15,000, was received from the Rural Routes Transportation Service. Although the service is active in other jurisdictions, the vast majority of its rides are delivered in Central Frontenac, some 2890 in the eight months between July ’07 and the end of February ’08.

The request was deferred until budget deliberations. Rural Routes representatives also asked to make a presentation to the budget meeting, but this request was denied because it is not available to other groups who are seeking funding support. Rural Routes has been invited to a regular council meeting on April 14.

Clow zoning – Further to the plan for a seniors’ residence in Hinchinbrooke, the township planning consultant has confirmed that the Clows, who are planning to expand an existing seniors’ residence to accommodate 10 people, will need to have their property re-zoned, and before that can take place a water investigation will be necessary to determine the quality and quantity of water at the location. The zoning change will need to take place before other permits are considered.

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