New staff added to town in project management capacity

A new project manager’s position has been created and another position upgraded to create a second project manager’s position

A new project manager’s position has been created and another position upgraded to create a second project manager’s position during a reorganization of town departments.

Councillors approved the additional position at an estimated annual cost of $110,000, during their meeting July 8.

Chief Administrative Officer Betty Osmond, in making the request for an additional position, reported on a re-organization within town staff.

Primary changes are that the Community and Social Development department will no longer be a separate department under its own director; Family & Community Social Services (FCSS) will become a division of a new Community Services Department created by its amalgamation with Leisure and Protective Services, with Ron Lebsack as its director.

A new FCSS manager, Kelly Smith, started July 8 and will report to Lebsack.

Building and building maintenance will move from leisure and protective services to public works. The project manager positions will be within the public works department.

“Directors of Leisure and Protective Services and Public Works currently have extensive involvement in project management,” said Osmond’s report. “This workload responsibility needs to be reduced to allow more time for senior management duties including long range planning, development and implementation of initiatives and systems to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization, and overall monitoring of productivity and effectiveness.”

Osmond indicated that the town has contracted an ‘owner’s representative’ for the last two major capital building projects, the RCMP building and town hall, however this didn’t go far enough to reduce senior management time invested in managing the overall projects.

As well, the town has re-evaluated its engineering technician position which included a substantial portion of time allocated to project management or owner’s representatives responsibilities. “The job description is changing to better align with the proposed new position and to address the requirements for capital asset management.”

Rapid growth in the town’s capital assets is requiring more internal resources to effectively manage these assets, Osmond indicated. “We are currently building our asset inventory. The project management positions will provide more internal resources for the effective management of these capital assets. This includes the implementation and ongoing maintenance of an asset management system that will assist in planning and decision making regarding the maintenance, operation, replacement and expansion of the town’s infrastructure.”

“Building, parks, roads, water and sewer infrastructure are expanding rapidly and there is a clear trend showing that this growth will continue in the next several years. Specialist knowledge, training and time is required to maintain the system and to use it effectively. The creation of two project manager positions will provide the additional resources necessary to make an asset management system reach its potential.”

Recruiting for the new position will take place immediately.