Bureaucracy and The City

Prior to May 1,2010 the City of Nanaimo staff was organized into 15 Departments.Two days later a reorganization of senior management responsibilities was announced.Included therein was confirmation that a  new department has been added to the already bloated City management structure, something called “Strategic Relationships”,which includes Economic Development and Sports Tourism and is a liason to the Vancouver Island Conference Centre,the Port of Nanaimo and the Snuneymuxw First Nation. ( Why V.I.U. isn’t considered to be a strategic relationship is  strange ). I assume the previous department titled “Economic Development”  is now eliminated, leaving the total number of City departments at 15.

By contrast the City of Victoria ,similar in population to Nanaimo, lists 11 departments.However, to provide an accurate comparison between the two cities it is necessary to delete from the Victoria list the Police Department and the Victoria Conference Centre,because these 2 related  are not classified as “departments” in the Nanaimo hierarchy.This brings Victoria’s number of comparative departments down to 9.

In Victoria, 35 senior  staff manage  the 9 departments:

1   City Manager

2  General Managers

8  Directors

8  Assistant Directors

16 Managers

By contrast,the City of Nanaimo lists 45 Senior Management positions in 15 Departments:

1  City Manager

1  Assistant City Manager/General Manager

2  General Managers

9  Directors

32 Managers

I suggest the City of Nanaimo have a critical look at it’s overall management structure with the intent of finding more efficiencys.Interestingly the press release notes that the senior staff reorganization ” is necessary at least in part due to the fact that the City now has fewer senior managers than it did one year ago.” That’s certainly a positive sign and hopefully the new City Manager will continue to deconstruct the bureaucracy that is Jerry Berry’s legacy.

Wayne Schulstad

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