Thursday, July 25, 2024

Only Time Will Tell if Reducing Management of Roads Department to Part-Time Job Will Succeed

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

The Roads Departmentprovides the service everyone depends on every day. Your rant about the CAO’s decision to eliminate the senior position at the Roads Department (October 2 print edition) should worry many residents because it suffered the greatest loss of staff under the CAO’s restructuring plan. To add to the permanent loss of the Director’s position, the Administrative Coordinator was transferred to Environmental Services (water and sewer operations), and one operator position was transferred to a position at Meaford Hall.

Given the fact that councils, both past and present, have received reports which describe the dire state of our roads and bridges, a reasonable person would conclude an experienced, qualified manager is required to provide guidance to address the recommendations in the reports.

One can only conclude that neither the CAO or council did not read the Operations Review Report presented to them earlier this year. The report did not recommend any staff reductions. Overtime was identified as a persistent operational problem. Operators accumulate several hours of overtime during winter conditions. On average, according to the report, this amounts to an average of 33 weeks per year. Certainly, the loss of an operator will only exacerbate the problem in the future.

Only time will tell whether or not the CAO’s experiment to reduce management of the Roads Department to a part-time job will succeed. Is the risk worth the short term savings?

Douglas Robinson, Leith

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