No one missed me (sigh) but I've been virtually MIA for two weeks. Our Council has just come through a very big week and a half. I wish to share. I've suffered for my art - now it's your turn.
New Computer System
On 8 March we shut down our old system to transactions so as to stabilise the data we were converting to our new system. We turned the new system on on 15 March. It went as well as the geeks expected, which means we had lots of problems. Stress levels have been very high and are just now subsiding.
New Local Environmental Plan (LEP)
Our main planning instruments in NSW are called LEP's and our new City Wide plan was gazetted on Friday 19 March. Gazettal means it is in effect. The State Govt. is responsible for gazettal and it has taken them 18 months to finalise their checks and publish the plan - right in the middle of our computer upgrade. We have a lot of LIS work to do as a result but it was a fairly emotional culmination of a 5 year project to produce a City Strategy and planning instrument.
Elections are scheduled for next Saturday, 27 March. Pre-poll commenced on 15 March and the last meeting of the old Council was held last night. We had a very stable Council but 7 of our 13 Councillors are retiring with 4 of them having more than 20 years service. Two more face difficult reelections and therefore we will have at least 7 and up to 9 new Councillors. Today one of the Mayoral candidates resigned from his party due to an impending sex scandal. It looks like fun.
Yesterday we were presented with our certification for compliance with AS/NZS ISO 9001:2000 (Quality Management Systems), AS/NZS 4810:2001 (OHS Management Systems) and AS/NZS ISO 14001:1996 (Environmental Management Systems). We are the first Council in Australia to achieve certification to all three standards. This is the culmination of three years work to develop and implement an Integrated Management System for the organisation. It has been the catalyst for a major change management program.
Things should start to return to normal this week, though the election will be frenetic for a few days, and so I can rejoin the slackers.