On the anniversary of the first election of Central Coast Council, the new CEO, Gary Murphy, has completed a structural review and reshaped his executive team.
If adopted by Councillors when they meet on Monday, September 10, the new-look executive structure will be applied from November 1.
The number of senior staff positions will be reduced from 13 to 11.
The mega-directorate of Assets, Infrastructure and Business, put together by Administrator Ian Reynolds and handed to former Wyong Manager, Mike Dowling, has been split up.
Dowling retired from his position with the Central Coast Council earlier in 2018.
A new directorate for roads, transport, drainage and waste has been created, along with another for water and sewer, and the position of Executive Manager Innovation and Futures has been created.
Units in remaining departments will be shifted to “align into other existing directorates”.
The Council’s five directors, two chief officers, two executive managers and one internal ombudsman, will all report directly to Gary Murphy.
Under the former structure, four senior managers reported to the Director of Assets, Infrastructure and Business who, in turn, reported to the CEO.
“It is important to note that the review has focused on ensuring alignment to the Community Strategic Plan (CSP), in accordance with sub-section 332 (IB) of the Local Government Act,” said a report to the September 10 Council meeting, written by Kellie Reeves, Executive Manager, People and Culture.
“The positions within the organisation structure of the council are to be determined so as to give effect to the priorities set out in the strategic plans (including the community strategic plan) and delivery program of the council,” according to that section of the Act.
“It was identified that a clearer line of sight between the CSP and the senior staff structure was required for the two CSP themes of ‘Smart’ and ‘Green’,” Reeves’ report said.
“The vision for the Central Coast is that we are a ‘Smart’ region, a growing and competitive region and a place of opportunity for people.
“The ‘Green’ vision is that we focus on environmental resources for the future, with cherished and protected natural beauty.
“Another key review finding was that a flattening of the leadership structure should occur in the Assets, Infrastructure and Business directorate to empower teams and allow for improved efficiency, performance and delivery of services to the community.”
The outcome of the Council’s review of the senior staff positions …sees a flattening of leadership structures in the former Assets, Infrastructure and Business directorate and an increased focus on the Community Strategic Plan themes of ‘Smart’ and ‘Green’.
The proposed senior staff positions as a result of the review are: Chief Executive Officer; Director Connected Communities; Director Environment and Planning; Director Roads Transport Drainage and Waste; Director Water and Sewer; Director Governance; Chief Financial Officer; Chief Information Officer; Executive Manager People and Culture; Executive Manager Innovation and Futures; and Senior Internal Ombudsman.
“The proposed new department of ‘Innovation and Futures’ will ensure that Central Coast Council is clearly focusing on the future of the Coast with a 10+ year time horizon guiding their work.
“The Environment and Planning Directorate is proposed to take an increased focus on the environment.”
The review was a requirement of the Local Government Act 1993.
Section 333 states that a Council must review, and may re-determine, the organisation structure within 12 months after any ordinary election of the council.
Sub-section 332 (1) says it is specifically the senior staff positions within the structure that are determined by Council.
At the Ordinary Meeting of Council on Monday, August 27, it was noted that Council had commenced the review of the structure as required.
Council had taken the following actions and completed the review by the September 9 deadline.
A Working Party was formed and met on a number of occasions with independent facilitation and expert advice on organisation structures within local government.
Alignment of the structure with the Central Coast Council Community Strategic Plan was assessed.
Staff feedback on the structure received since amalgamation and in the recent employee survey was referenced.
Two briefings were held with Councillors.
Three out of the seven executive positions in the structure put in place in 2016 have been filled by temporary or “acting” appointees, including Chief Information Officer, Martin Elwell, Chief Financial Officer, Vivienne Louie, and Director of Assets, Infrastructure and Business, Boris Bolgoff.
The current permanent members of the executive team are Director of Connected Communities, Julie Vaughan, Director of Environment and Planning, Scott Cox, Executive Manager of Governance, Brian Glendenning, and Executive Manager of People and Culture, Kellie Reeves.
Some Councillors were hopeful that a structural review would result in the separation of Planning and Environment into two directorates which has not been recommended.
There was also a push for community assets, which was in the Assets, Infrastructure and Business Directorate, to be moved into the Community Directorate.
The management of community assets, particularly the imposition of commercial lease agreements on community groups, has been a contentious issue since Central Coast Council was formed.
Other Councillors see the restructure as an opportunity to start planning to reduce staff numbers when the freeze on positions, following the amalgamation, is lifted in 2019.
Source: Agenda item 4.2, Aug 27, Central Coast Council ordinary meeting, Agenda item 4.1, Sep 10 Central Coast Council ordinary meeting