EUROBODALLA Shire councillors last Tuesday heard general manager Dr Catherine Dale’s first quarterly report which included her recommendations for moving the organisation forward.
A key change will see council directors reduced from three to two.
The Director Corporate and Community Outcomes position will become redundant and the functions managed by it will be reallocated.
Mayor Lindsay Brown said councillors were impressed with Dr Dale’s quarterly report and congratulated her on her first three months’ work.
“Dr Dale was appointed for her many years’ experience working in Chief Executive and General Manager roles in local government and her reputation and track record for turning organisations around,” he said.
“Her recommendations and plans to take our organisation forward are very exciting.”
Dr Dale said that there were six broad issues that needed to be reviewed and enhanced to meet the community’s expectations.
“These include financial sustainability, community relations and communication, organisational culture, land use planning, economic development and risk management,” Dr Dale said.
Her recommendations ensure council is clear about its purpose, provides professional advice and implements council decisions and policies and, in particular, provides consistent and responsive customer service.
“Council can achieve this by ensuring we have an organisational culture that enables council staff to be more collaborative and innovative,” she said.
“The recommendations include changes to council’s organisational structure that would make it flatter which will improve direct accountability and management efficiencies and more effectively use the skills that currently exist in the organisation.”
Dr Dale said over time, the proposed structure would also reduce costs.
Councillors endorsed Dr Dale’s changes so that she was immediately able to consult with the members of staff who were directly affected.
She has also consulted with the unions and the Staff Consultative Committee.
Dr Dale said reducing staff was always a difficult decision.
“When I proposed this change to councillors it was after serious consideration and after I had reviewed all the options,” she said.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing director of corporate and community outcomes Kerry Foster for her outstanding contribution to Eurobodalla Shire Council and to our community.”
ERA councillors welcome restructure
EUROBODALLA Ratepayer’s Action councillors Peter Schwarz, Liz Innes, Milton Leslight and Neil Burnside have welcomed the council restructure.
The say Dr Dale has re-organised the responsibilities of senior managers to give “greater focus and direction” to customer service, communications, business development and tourism, as well as an emphasis on the accountability of senior staff, paralleling ERA policies which we took to the shire ratepayers a year ago.
“Before and after last year’s election, ERA councillors have been hearing from the community that its major concern is for the council to focus on economic development of the shire with energy and to recognise that the Council has a direct role in it and is a factor in its success,” deputy mayor Peter Schwarz said.
“Flat conditions mean people and businesses continue to do it tough and councillors have agreed to respond to this by united action.
“The council is working well as a united body and we are pleased that the changes were accepted almost universally by non-ERA councillors and staff.
Clr Burnside congratulated Dr Dale on her strength and commitment.
“There is a positive feeling within the council and we are continuing to work to maintain the optimism,” he said.
Clr Liz Innes said there was a way to go in areas such as the Rural LEP and issues surrounding the problem of sea level rise but she was confident council could work through these issues.
“We are working with our local member Andrew Constance to assist us in our goals,” she said.
Clr Milton Leslight thanked ERA supporters for the confidence shown in the team.
“We value the assistance we receive from our support base and for the intellectual rigor they add to our deliberations,” he said.