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Resource Constraints Imperil City Services, Warns CAO

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Resource Constraints Imperil City Services, Warns CAO

Resource Constraints Imperil City Services, Warns CAO. The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of St. Albert expresses concerns about the potential degradation of city service levels due to limited resources. Check CAO Status online.

Current Operations and Future Growth Pose Risks

Bill Fletcher, the CAO, points out that the existing workload, ongoing projects, and the anticipated demands of future city growth pose a significant threat to the administration’s ability to uphold the service levels determined by the city council.

Service Levels

Fletcher underscores the paramount importance of service levels, which govern all city activities and are firmly rooted in council directives. He emphasizes that safeguarding these service levels should be a top priority.

Beyond Staffing

Fletcher stresses that the limitations on the city administration’s current capacity extend beyond merely staffing issues. He suggests that implementing more efficient IT systems, which could streamline communications, would free up staff for other essential tasks.

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Corporate Capacity Defined

He clarifies that corporate capacity encompasses not only human resources and finances but also infrastructure and the scope of work. In essence, it’s a multifaceted challenge.

The Significance of Prioritization

Fletcher highlights the importance of prioritization to ensure that essential tasks are not compromised. He emphasizes the need to align city efforts with the council’s strategic direction.

Planning for the Future

Looking ahead, Fletcher reveals that city staff are working on a long-term corporate strategy to guide administration in harmony with the council’s strategic plan. Additionally, a corporate business plan is in the works.

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Immediate Actions on the Horizon

In the short term, Fletcher suggests that the draft 2024 budget, set to be presented to the council in October, might include business cases aimed at addressing capacity issues promptly, possibly through staff augmentation.

Committee Addressing Corporate Risk

Coun. Ken MacKay, a member of the internal audit and steering committee, mentions that the committee is developing a corporate risk registry to tackle capacity concerns. He believes that the organization has the necessary mechanisms in place to mitigate potential impacts.

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No Easy Solutions

MacKay acknowledges that resolving the issue isn’t straightforward, as staffing levels, workloads, and infrastructure all influence corporate capacity. He asserts that it’s primarily an administrative responsibility to find and present solutions to the council.

Expectations for Enhanced Efficiency

Coun. Shelley Biermanski expresses her desire for the CAO to identify corporate efficiencies and improve capacity, which were promised when council approved additional executive administration positions. She hopes for effective planning within the current capacity and looks forward to the CAO’s strategic approach to achieve this goal.

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