City manager is having his office re-done - and we aren't talking drapes and carpeting.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 4th, 2019



If the City Manager has a well-run office – things get done. That office sets the tone for the rest of the bureaucracy.

In the approval of the 2019 Operating Budget, a staff direction was passed to review the organizational structure of the City Manager’s office with a report due back May 31, 2019.

Tim Commisso 3 stern

Tim Commisso – Does this look like a man that suffers fools easily?

Commisso was the Interim city manager when the budget was being put together. Staff in the City Manager’s Office were working on the review with a focus on identifying key business processes.

CMO staff have held two think hard sessions. A total of eight separate services and processes have been identified as key focus areas for the City Manager’s Office. Commisso explained the “services” are actually internal corporate business processes the CMO is responsible for: Internal Audit, corporate risk management, service reviews (new).

More detailed work by the CMO team is needed to confirm resourcing. As well, there is a need to engage with the Burlington Leadership Team on this work. The City Manager’s Office team have advised that a report will get to Council in September.

Our understanding was that the BLT – Burlington Leadership Team, was something the city manager created and runs.
BLT is senior staff management team that meets weekly, previously it was called Management Committee. Membership is not rotating but the chair does rotate each week. Includes CM, DCM and all Directors.

In a conversation with the Gazette Tim Commisso explained that he was “looking at how the City Manager’s office functions from an overall corporate strategic management and organizational effectiveness perspective.

Reading between the lines and being aware of what this Council wants – expect the Directors to be told to get more value for the money being spent.  Can anyone tighten things up at city hall?

Tim Commisso

Tim Commisso – his 20 years as a city hall Staffer could serve him well not that he has the keys to the Office of the City Manager.

The September report will include implementing ongoing city service reviews as well as continuous improvement and performance measurement. Commisso will update Council verbally on status as part of the work plan report and adds that “FYI I’m not looking to add any $ to 2019 approved budgeted resources – which included a net reduction of $235k.”

The key metric is who Commisso chooses to work with him – there are some very good people in the hall – does Commisso have the ability to identify talent and recruit them?

And does he have it with him to gently move some of those that have not served the city all that well along to something more suited to their skill set?

This guy is going to be fun to work with.

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