Town releases first management report
Gravenhurst - The Town of Gravenhurst has released its first-ever quarterly management report in an attempt to create transparency and open lines of communication with the public.
The 37-page document was a priority for CAO Frank Miele, appointed to his post this past February.
It’s a thorough analysis of each town department, it objectives, successes and ongoing projects for 2012’s first quarter. It also includes a wide array of statistical analysis, financial and budgetary information, a complete staff and council directory, and detailed outlines of what challenges departments face as they work toward strict goals.
“Council can only speak in two ways: through bylaws and in resolutions,” explained Miele about the power of the first Gravenhurst Quarterly Management Report. “Hence the public at large, on occasion, feels that we are not as transparent or accountable.”
“In our attempt to ensure accountability and transparency, this is one of the ways we are going to inject life into that plan,” he added. “This (quarterly document) provides the public, council and staff an opportunity to understand more deeply what exactly we do in our departments, as a corporation, what our goals and objectives are for the balance of the year and provides an opportunity for the public to appreciate the various workings of a department and what staff does.”
About 100 paper copies of the document were created for circulation to primary locations around town, such as the library or town hall for use as a resource material, while the public at large can get their own copies from the town’s website.
“It’s absolutely phenomenal and excellent; what a turn of events for us to put out a document that looks like this,” said Deputy Mayor Jeff Watson, who as chair of the corporate services committee, presented the document to council earlier this month.
The current report does not include data or information from the YMCA portion of the aquatic centre, and staff intends to include that in the next report, due later this summer. Otherwise, mayor and council were thrilled with the quarter breakdown.
“I look at ratepayers like shareholders and this is a great shareholder’s report; there’s good information in there, full disclosure,” Coun. Joe Donoghue said.
“I find this exciting; we are moving forward, there is new governance and a lot of things are changing, not only for council, but for the public,” Mayor Paisley Donaldson said. “All those things they wanted to elect this council for — accountability, transparency, communication, we’re starting to get some momentum and see that.”
“When I first saw the report, my first impression was ‘wow,’ we’re fortunate we have the talent in-house to put something like this together,” she added. “I know there was a lot of time put into this, but it’s certainly appreciated.”