While there aren’t any immediate changeovers expected for City of Trail staff through retirement or other means, over the next six months, civic leaders are still planning for future years by looking at the organizational structure of the municipality – starting from the top (city council) right down to the lower echelons of management.
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Council announced this week that Brentwood Advisory Group has been awarded a $69,000+ contract to complete an organizational and structural review that will consider the integration and operation of civic departments.
“The city has to be prepared for ongoing turnover should staff leave the organization to pursue other opportunities,” David Perehudoff, chief administrative officer, told the Trail Times.
“The rate of retirement in local government positions across Canada is unprecedented and with the number of current vacancies in the industry, it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract external talent in what has become a very competitive and somewhat limited market when it comes to recruitment.”
Brentwood will commence work immediately with an expectation to complete the review by the end of June.
A select council committee, including Mayor Lisa Pasin and councillors Paul Butler, Colleen Jones and Sandy Santori, have been appointed to work closely with the consultants to ensure their objectives are fully met.
“Council identified the need to assess the city’s organizational structure as a strategic priority,” said Mayor Pasin.
“The review will provide council with information, insight, and suggest potential changes to the current structure so council is confident that its human resources are appropriately aligned with service demands and delivery,” she noted.
“Council also wants to ensure that the city’s structure is sustainable going forward, and that staff resources are effectively deployed. Succession planning to ensure the city is prepared for the future turnover of senior staff members was also an important consideration.”
As part of the review, the Brentwood team will conduct interviews with internal and external stakeholders, including municipal employees.
“Further to the review to be undertaken, the consultant will assess the organizational structure and the city’s staffing needs and may recommend the creation of new or modified positions, such as an HR Specialist, although it is difficult to speculate at this time what may come forward,” Perehudoff explained.
“The city has several other hybrid or combined positions that are unique to Trail, such as the Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation (who is also) the Airport Manager, and these positions will need to be closely evaluated as part of ensuring responsibilities are appropriately segregated to meet the ongoing demands of a local government organization.”
In this regard, one key consideration is the city’s ability to fill these relatively specialized positions when they become vacant.
“Therefore, as part of the review, the consultant is required to compare Trail to other local governments as part of bringing forward ‘best practices’ for council’s consideration,” Perehudoff clarified.
“The efficient and effective delivery of services supported by a sustainable organizational structure is seen to be very important and the review will provide council with the information they need to make informed decisions on what is best for the organization and the community,” he added.
“This recognizes that property taxes and user fees are the primary funding source for municipal operations and therefore any organizational changes will also have to consider the budget and property tax implications.”
About Brentwood Advisory Group
The Brentwood Advisory Group was selected from 10 proposals that were submitted in response to a request for proposal the city issued in the latter part of 2019. The firm is located in B.C. and provides a variety of governance, strategy, organizational development, recruitment and financial sustainability planning services. The firm has a roster of experienced multi-disciplinary consultants who are led by principal, Paul Murray. Murray brings 30 years of senior leadership experience and over this time, he has held a number of senior local government administrative positions.