City Services

Council has initiated a new approach to reviewing the many services the City provides.

What is a service review?  This is when we ask three questions:

  • Should we deliver the service?
  • At what level of service should we deliver the service?
  • What should our relationship to the service be (e.g. direct provider, facilitator)?

This is not an easy task. 

For starters, there are 300+ services so the sheer size of the task is a challenge. 

There are different kinds of services.  There are mandatory (legislated) and discretionary services. There are internal (corporate) services and external (community) services.  For example:

  • Internal service – Human Resources provides a service to Emergency Services to assist in the recruitment of new firefighters
  • External service – Firefighters provide fire protection services to the community

The nature of the task is also challenging.  Conflict is inherent in the task.  Someone somewhere in the community likely values the service and doesn’t want to give it up or see it change.  There are differences of opinions on Council as to whether a service should be delivered or not.  People deliver services and they may have dedicated their entire working career to the delivery of that service. 

Conducting service reviews feels uncomfortable at the best of times.  It should.  It is a sign that we are doing our job.

Council is tackling about a quarter of the services (75) in this round.  Our first step has been to individually evaluate our perceptions of the service.  Those perceptions have been collated and will now be tested.  Our analysis will be passed to staff to review and to bring back further information, questions and/or recommendations as we drill down into a more informed way to better understand these services and ask the questions three questions  posed above.

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About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

View all posts by Karen Farbridge

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