New council chief hits the ground running

By LEE McDOUGALL

COFFS Harbour City general manager Stephen Sawtell may have only been in the job for seven months but he appears to have hit the ground running.

At Thursday night's council meeting, Mr Sawtell presented his organisational restructure that results in the previous four departments being remoulded into three.

The restructure immediately does away with one director (retired city business units director Pat Littler will not be replaced), saving about $140,000 a year in salary.

"In addition to the structural change, there will also be a cultural change, which will see an increased emphasis on connectedness through staff stakeholder groups," Mr Sawtell said.

"We are taking this measure in recognition of the need to work closely and inclusively together on all aspects of council business to achieve optimum results for customers."

The three new departments are corporate business (incorporating former corporate services and some city business units sections), city services (former city services and some city business units sections) and land use, health and development (formerly planning, environment and development).

The restructure sees the establishment of an assistant general manager, which will be the director of corporate business, Mr Kymme Lavelle.

All of the council's business, marketing and events units will now be brought together under the director of corporate business.

In other changes, the operational side of city parks (to be named recreational services) will be combined with asset management and construction (formerly works), to be jointly managed by an executive manager of operations. The strategic side of recreational services will be combined with land use planning and biodiversity management.

So, if you are looking for a job, now's the time to apply. The new structure sees vacant positions for director city services (previously held by Mr Sawtell) and director land use, health and development (previously held by Gina Vereker who resigned earlier this year), as well as nine vacant manager positions.

The changes take effect from August



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