‘City engineer’ role for DCC

Sue Bidrose
Sue Bidrose
The return of a "city engineer" role  will help the Dunedin City Council tackle a backlog of work across the city, it has been suggested.

Council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose said the appointment of Simon Drew as a permanent replacement for the council’s former infrastructure and networks general manager, Ruth Stokes, had triggered a senior management reshuffle within the council.

Mrs Stokes had taken on extra portfolios when she was recruited to push through internal changes within the council, beginning in 2015.

She resigned in late 2017,  and Leanne Mash became acting general manager.

Mr Drew (42),  a chartered professional civil engineer and  Dunedin branch manager of engineering consultancy firm Beca, was named as the council’s next infrastructure services general manager in August.

Dr Bidrose said the appointment reflected a switch in focus from internal change under Mrs Stokes, to the delivery of much-needed investment in the city’s stormwater, wastewater and transport sectors under Mr Drew.

It also represented a step back to an earlier time when councils often appointed a city engineer, she said.

"It used to be, in the old days, a lot of councils had a city engineer. We haven’t for a long time, but that effectively is his role."

Other aspects of Mrs Stokes’ role had been moved to other general managers within the council’s executive leadership team.

As a result, council strategy and governance general manager Sandy Graham was now the council’s city services general manager.

Council finance and commercial general manager Dave Tombs had assumed responsibility for the legal and risk and internal audit portfolios previously under Ms Graham’s old role.

Civic and governance responsibilities, also previously with Ms Graham, had been picked up by her, Dr Bidrose said.

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