The District of Lake Country has experienced rapid growth in recent years and it also depends heavily on its residents rather than local businesses and industry for its tax revenues. It just makes sense, then, that the District operates effectively (doing the right things), efficiently (doing things right) and economically (operating at least cost). Current economic conditions are not conducive to much growth and real estate business has been flat for a while now. For these reasons, our taxpayers will be hard pressed to foot a high tax increase or one at all. In order to find the budget efficiencies we need to balance our budget by keeping our levels of service the same without any substantial tax increase, we have initiated an organizational review and I wish to provide some information on the scope and work-plan of this project.

The scope of this review is to examine all District services and contracts with the exception of the fire department and police service (we just completed a fire department strategic plan and the RCMP is not under our direct jurisdiction). In addition, we have identified the following three objectives that the review will focus on:

Examine the organization structure to determine if it can be more effective and efficient;
Identify opportunities to reduce, prevent, control and recover operating costs; and
Coach District leaders in improving municipal administration and operations.

There will be an initial information gathering phase where we are going to: a) define role, responsibilities, accountabilities, concerns and ideas for improvement; and b) review financial statements, budget, OCP and other municipal reports and statistics. The second phase will be to identify key business processes in the District, such as issuing development permits, building inspections, bylaw enforcement, tax billing and collections, recreation planning, and Community News, to cite a few. During this phase we will also asses three key business processes to identify improvements and cost reduction opportunities by reviewing resource requirements, cycle times, reporting, service levels, and customer satisfaction. Then we will apply core service review criteria to the major District services and compare District's operations and costs to other municipalities, we will identify opportunities for improving costs, and we will develop and assess opportunities to improve the organization structure and accountabilities.

The information gathering has already started and, except for a brief break for Christmas, we will continue this review with the hope to provide initial recommendations to Council for budget purposes sometime in December. A final report is expected to be submitted to Council in February 2012. Due to the aggressive timeline we have set out to meet, we will need the assistance of a consultant. The person who will do this review for us is Dugal Smith, a management consultant for 37 years who spent 14 years as a partner with Price Waterhouse.

Thank you very much for your support on this and if you have any specific questions, please feel free to contact me in writing at