Monday, March 14, 2011

Interim CAO Dave Paterson opens the lines of communication

I have seen this method of communication used effectively elsewhere and during my time here I will provide monthly updates of my activities and comments for those interested. The comments will be brief and hopefully this forum will give readers some additional insight into the activities of your CAO. I will provide an update every 3 – 4 weeks going forward.

To begin with, it is indeed a pleasure to be a part of this organization, if only on an interim basis. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever anticipate I would have such an opportunity. At the outset, let me say I am honoured to serve the citizens of the City of Kawartha Lakes and I do not take this responsibility lightly.

Success for me during my time here will be measured by the thoughts and comments of others, not myself. Specifically, I have every intention of making a positive difference in the eyes of our employees, our Council and our taxpayers.

Many of you know I live in the Peterborough area and am very involved and committed in a number of activities, most of which are volunteer in nature. I am doing my best to fulfill the CAO role during the 3 days a week that I am at City Hall. In reality I am actually very connected to the daily CAO role 7 days a week thanks to technology and the very nature of this position.

I firmly believe your next CAO should live within the geographic boundaries of the City of Kawartha Lakes. I would also expect the next CAO to be very involved in your community in leadership positions. This person needs to be visible in the community and develop a well respected profile with taxpayers. I will be assisting the Mayor and Council members in getting you an outstanding leader going forward.

So, what have I been doing to-date? Well, during my 16 days on site so far I have made a point of getting to meet and know as many people as possible. These meetings have been one on one and in groups. I have been meeting with employees, at all levels and in multiple locations, not only in the Lindsay area but also at the five Service Centres throughout the area. You can’t do this job if you don’t know the people, their issues or concerns, and dialogue about opportunities. I have also met directly with a number of Councillors in an effort to understand their perspective on issues and the role of the CAO.

Although my background has been in the private sector I see many similarities between my past life and my new responsibilities. At the end of the day I believe there are more similarities than differences. It all comes down to people and processes.

I am entirely committed to working very closely with both staff and Council. We are one organization with one plan. We clearly must work together in the best interests of all taxpayers. Mayor Ric McGee and I are working very closely together as we have much to gain and a lot to learn by working in a collaborative manner.

Jack Welch is GE’s former Chairman and I love one of his quotes… "If you’re stagnant, you’re dead". I could not agree more. I view myself as a catalyst for change. We need to embrace change throughout this organization. My job is to help others get rid of bottlenecks and roadblocks. In this regard, I see lots of opportunities and these will be pursued.

Feel free to drop me a line or give me a call with your thoughts. We need to work together!

Until mid April….