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Wellesley Township to undergo organizational review, as council approves RFP plan

Looking to get a handle on a growing staff, Wellesley Township will carry out an organizational review, with council this week putting the plan in motion.

The township will issue a request for proposals (RFP) to be completed by October 31, expecting bids to come in at $45,000 to $65,000.

Funding for the review will come from the provincial modernization funding.

For the last 15 to 20 years, the township has seen a steady growth in population, which in turn, led to staff increases. While the organizational chart for the township has been amended, there has never been a formal review by a third party, councillors heard Tuesday night.

A formal review by an independent third party is expected to provide council and chief administrative officer Rik Louwagie with perspective and advice on the future changes.

In his report to council, Louwagie says the township has done well at maintaining a small staff by adding duties to existing members, only adding more staff when it is deemed absolutely necessary. Because of this, some job descriptions can “be disjointed or overlap with other departments,” which in turn can lead to reduced efficiency.

Thanks to a 2019 investment in the form of a modernization grant from the provincial government, Wellesley has about $434,543 in unallocated money within a reserve fund. The provincial funding flowed out of a review of regional governments in which the Ford government dropped the idea of amalgamation and provided resources for municipalities to find efficiencies.

Wellesley’s organization review would provide assessments and recommendations for areas, including confirming the township’s key mandatory and discretionary services. It would also determine if operational activities are efficient, effective and make appropriate use of resources; that staffing levels are appropriate for the current and future level of service demand; the organizational structure provides efficient and effective service delivery; that opportunities for service improvements through partnerships, contracted services, and alternative service delivery options; and position the organization for innovation, says the report.

Coun. Herb Neher asked how a review like this could take place in an office that is essentially empty due to remote work during the pandemic.

Louwagie said it is “not about the nuts and bolts of the building and how the building functions,” but rather the review of the people and how they function in their positions.

“So, whether they’re working in the office or out of the office doesn’t really have an impact on that because no matter what it’s not the consultant standing back and watching the employees work, it’s all done based on interviews of employees, interviews of stakeholders, councillors included, and best practices in the industry. That’s how they come to their conclusions on this type of study,” said Louwagie.

The organizational review is to be completed by the fall so that any recommendations for staffing or technology changes can be considered in time for the 2022 budget.

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