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  • Writer's pictureSamanntha Wright

December Bearspaw Beat Submission

Lots has been happening at the County. Interim-CAO Rick McDonald rolled out his organizational review and it is promising. McDonald’s plan realigns the County’s executive structure to that of a business model. It includes a total revamp of the executive reporting structure and the addition of a new position – Deputy CAO.

McDonald’s goal is to create better continuity and communication between functions while providing greater transparency and accountability to residents.

Our move to the new building aids greatly in facilitating these changes. Having all employees under one roof will help address the culture of silo building that was rampant throughout the organization. Considering the scale of the move, it went seamlessly and everyone is settling in well.

Council hired the County’s permanent CAO – Al Hoggan, previously CAO to Kneehill County. Hoggan joins us on December 17th and will shadow McDonald for what will be his last week. Hoggan has committed to following McDonald’s restructuring plan for at least one year.

Our Strategic Plan is complete. Its three core themes are: service excellence; financial health; and responsible growth. In addition to the Strategic Plan, which will direct the County for the next 3-4 years, Administration is working on a Corporate Plan which will provide the backbone for the County’s 20-year vision. This is a new concept for the County, one I wholeheartedly welcome. I am hopeful it will eliminate the ad-hoc decision making and ill-conceived planning rationales that have plagued this County’s past.

Council’s organizational meeting was held on October 16th. Greg Boehlke will remain as Reeve, with Al Schule as Deputy Reeve. I had nominated Kevin Hanson as I believe that a change in leadership to reflect the changes in the organization would have been immensely beneficial. Alas, the majority of my peers did not agree.

Kim McKylor maintains her position as Chair of the Policies and Priorities Committee, and I will continue as its Vice-Chair. I remain on the Policy Review Committee with Kevin Hanson and newcomers Crystal Kissel and Al Schule. Dan Henn is the new Council representative on the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board.

Regarding the Calgary Metropolitan Regional Board (CMRB), the interim-Growth Management Plan for the region has been sent to the Province for approval. Once approved, it means that amendments to policies like the County Plan and Area Structure Plans will not only require Council approval but approval from the CMRB.

While concerns linger about Calgary’s veto power, I remain positive that, under strong County leadership, we can create better solutions to the expanding need for recreation, transportation and emergency services by viewing the region holistically.

However you celebrate this holiday season, here’s wishing you safe journeys, good health and hearts filled with peace and joy. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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