Monday, April 11, 2011

Back again…blog update # 2!

My 1st blog was completed after 16 days on the job.  I have now been on site for 25 days since day 1 on February 9.  At the same time, I feel I am very connected and involved with the day to day activities and issues as a result of the technology I have access to. Not a day goes by without some thought or activity associated with the City of Kawartha Lakes.  As I update this blog it is Sunday evening….see what I mean!

I have continued to meet with many employees throughout the organization. This has proven to be a great opportunity for me to listen and learn. I will continue to wander around all our offices, with and without a purpose, so don’t be surprised to see me.

At the outset let me say congratulations to all who made our United Way campaign a success and helped to push it over the goal. I can’t think of a more worthwhile cause, although I realize there are many needs throughout the community. Special thanks to the Campaign organizers and those who supported this cause. Frankly, we can and should do better through the involvement of more employees for an organization our size.

We recently had an internal chili competition. Up until this event, my chili recipe, which I am very proud of, had never finished lower than 2nd in a competition. When the results were in let’s just say this proved to be a very humbling and somewhat humiliating experience for me. They tell me my entry tied for 3rd! I understand the finals are set for later this week. Good luck to all entrants.

I continue to learn a great deal every day.  I also continue to be impressed by many in the organization. Unfortunately, most of my time is dealing with past issues that need to be addressed and resolved. Frankly, I would rather be dealing with matters that deal with the future and with change.

We are making progress with the CAO recruitment. An organization has been selected to assist us and this group is moving ahead very nicely behind the scenes. They have interviewed most, if not all of Council on a one on one basis and have begun external advertising for this position. People ask me when will a new candidate be on site and the answer is I don’t know the date. I am willing to assist in the interim and we remain committed to recruit a very capable and competent leader in this role. Perhaps a decision will be made by sometime in June.

I am excited about the pending approval by Council of the North West Trunk initiative. Staff has done an excellent job in moving this project along of late. There are significant economic benefits to the CKL from this development over time. I am told there are around 6,000 lots in this future development area. Make no mistake about it; this community will grow in the days ahead I have no doubt it will look quite different 20-25 years out from today.

We should all be very concerned about the overall unemployment in this area. I can’t think of anything more important than economic development and I intend to make this a priority internally. We, the municipality, our MP and our MPP need to make positive things happen and the sooner the better. I believe the results of the pending Provincial and Federal elections will be more important than ever for this community.

Our internal budget process is in need of help. The fact is our staff and our Council would like to see improvements to the effectiveness and efficiency of this process. I have considerable experience in this area and I am looking forward to seeing what we can do, collectively, to make everyone feel better about this activity. Meetings are scheduled in this regard during the coming month. This is the sort of thing I want to spend my time on, namely the future and not the past.

Another agenda item I have in the near future is the Employee Suggestion Program. There has been quite a bit of activity done on this but it has yet to be implemented. This too will be addressed and moved ahead, one way or the other.

I remain more convinced than ever there are many opportunities for both challenge and change within this organization. I also believe we, as in all levels and areas in the organization need to develop a greater sense of urgency and commitment to make positive change happen. There are many reasons why change faces resistance but this is another topic.  I remain open to talking with anyone at anytime about your ideas for positive change. I find this exciting and I welcome your feedback.

Until the next time, stay positive and make something happen!