KANATA NORTH NEWS Marianne Wilkinson Councillor, Kanata North REORGANIZATION OF THE CITY OF OTTAWA

In 2007 Council held a series of meetings to set the guidelines for the future of Ottawa, from budget priorities to the organizational structure. One of the key recommendations from these meetings was that the City needed to change from a structure of centres of expertise (we call them silos), which operated to serve the bureaucracy but left the public frustrated. This organizational structure to meet this recommendation has now been put in place through three phases of change. Last October, the number of Deputy City Managers was reduced to two, each with a distinct mandate: City Operations which deals with day-to-day services with the public; and Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability which focuses on how we build communities for a strong, sustainable city into the future. At the same time the focus of the City Manager’s Office changed to ensuring financial sustainability, effective governance, improving intergovernmental and community relations and the successful implementation of Council’s highest priority projects. In November, changes were made to the next level of management (General Managers and Directors), reorganizing services under the City Manager and two Deputy City Managers. Last week the third and final change in management occurred. This involved a major adjustment affecting 340 positions. It is unfortunate that making these changes resulted in some good employees no longer having a place in the organization. Moving to a client focus, where serving residents is the most important job, is a cultural shift for staff. Ongoing training will help with the adjustment and in speaking to some front line staff I’ve found that they like the changes. In effect we are abandoning the system put in place by the Transition Board appointed by the Province for operations of the enlarged City of Ottawa and we are going back to the client centred approach that had been used by Kanata, Nepean and other municipalities before amalgamation. The silo approach had led to situations like this – in any building there would be three roles, all with staff from different silos, such as real estate to maintain the building, recreation for programming, and public works to look after the grounds. Now every building will have a single individual in charge. In By-Law some officers could only deal with animal complaints and others with issues like noise. The result was no response when the specific by-law officer was not available. Now officers can respond to a variety of issues. In Planning one person will be in charge of each application, responsible for taking it through the system rather

than having the public running from department to department. In Social Services a person with multiple needs such as housing, child care and welfare can go through one person. All of these changes will take some time to fully implement since we need to train staff and put procedures in place. I like the model and will be supporting making it work as a more efficient and cost-effective way of providing our services.

2009 OTTAWA ECO-STEWARDSHIP FAIR
On Saturday Apr. 18 at the RA Centre, 2451 Riverside Drive, from 10 am to 5 pm you can join me in celebrating green living ideas, products and services from Ottawa’s grassroots community at the 6th annual Eco-Stewardship Fair. Admission and Parking are free. This exhibition features displays and information on how you can help the planet, save money and improve your health. Learn more about local food, nature, transportation, energy, lifestyle, home and garden, health and more. Once again there will be a 100 mile Lunch, featuring food from local producers and suppliers. For the younger set there is a Children’s Eco-Carnival. Information is available at www.ottawaecofair.ca.

REMINDERS
When you drive along Innovation Drive you will now see a large sign on the site of our future recreation centre. Don’t forget to register for Spring Cleaning the Capital at www.ottawa.ca/clean.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR
April 6 – Tabling of report on stadiums April 15 - May 15 – Cleaning the Capital. Sign up now. April 18 – 10 am - 5 pm, Eco-Stewardship Fair, RA Centre April 25 – 9 am - noon, Electronics Recycling Depot, Waste Management April 27 – 7 - 9 pm, Kanata North Ward Council May 2 – 9:30 am, Annual Beaverbrook Clean Up Day with BBQ, Kids Crafts and May 30 – 8 am - noon – First Annual Beaverbrook Yard Sale

Serving the residents and businesses in Kanata North
To receive the Kanata North Newsletter, to deal with a concern or make a suggestion contact me at 613-580-2474, email Marianne.Wilkinson@ottawa.ca or through www.mariannewilkinson.com.