When a new senior management position is filled at City Hall, members of Council are sent a notice along with a short bio of the individual. I am also impressed with the exceptional talent we are recruiting to Guelph – not just their professional and technical training but also their remarkably diverse work experience. We are attracting people who have experience in many sectors and disciplines. For instance, one new member of our management team has had a significant career in the military, including service Afghanistan – now there is unique skill set that will come in handy during a crisis.
Our Civic Administration also has a strong record of performance. They certainly delivered when they brought us a wholly-updated official community plan. While led by our planning department, it represented the culmination of thousands of hours of work and consultation, and dozens of studies and master plans, involving many service areas. It has laid the foundation for sustainable city building.
They delivered when they brought forward the Downtown Secondary Plan, a bold plan to grow the number of people living and working downtown, create new green spaces, and enhance our downtown’s vitality and character.
And they delivered as they guided us through five years of infrastructure work in one year, seizing the opportunity of federal and provincial funding to build much-needed infrastructure throughout the city and completely re-making the face of our downtown.
These are not the actions of an administration shy of stepping up and leading change. On the contrary – these are the actions of a City Hall eager to shape its future with innovation, collaboration, and creativity.
And finally, I have spent the last several months, touring our many facilities, meeting with front-line staff in their places of work throughout this city. I still have some areas to visit but I can already come to a confident conclusion. Our people “turn the crank” – that is to say “keep this city running” – with immense pride. It shows on their faces when they describe their work to keep Guelph safe and a great place. This is our corporate value of “excellence: in action and it is hard to top that.
These are three reasons why I have confidence that our Civic Administration will deliver on the aspirations contained in the recently-approved Corporate Strategic Plan.
They are also a solid indication that our People Practices Strategy is working. The reality is that it has become very easy and convenient for some members of the public, and even members of Council, to generically criticize public sector employees. This presents a significant risk of creating a toxic work environment where morale and productivity plummet. Our Civic Administration’s efforts to build an excited and engaged workforce will ensure that we fulfill our mission to the people we serve:
To build an exceptional City by providing outstanding municipal service and value