Council roles reflect growth

Paula Penno
Paula Penno
Several new appointments at the Central Otago District Council reflect growth in the district but are also a "reshuffling" of some roles, council chief executive Sanchia Jacobs says.

Appointments to three newly created roles of a council community and engagement manager, policy adviser and an executive assistant have all been made this year.

The council now had between 103 and 138 fulltime staff at any given time, but still had relatively low staff numbers per capita, compared with the rest of the country, Ms Jacobs said.

Over the past five years, that number has ranged between 115 and 144.

Ms Jacobs said the community and engagement manager position, filled by the previous community development manager, Paula Penno, was "part new role" and partly a "reshuffling" of responsibilities when another position was also vacated.

Ms Penno now has responsibilities for community development, regional identity and communications at the council.

The executive assistant role was also partly a new role, and partly a "reshuffling", Ms Jacobs said.

Saskia Righarts
Saskia Righarts
The policy adviser was a completely new role. That staff member reports to the council's chief adviser, Dr Saskia Righarts, whose role was also newly created last year.

Ms Jacobs said rates funding had been approved last year in the 2018-28 longterm plan for six new fulltime equivalent (FTE) positions at council. The four new positions, which equated to about three new FTEs, would come from that funding.

Separately, two further new roles, in the regulatory department - regulatory support (alcohol licensing and food control) and regulatory support (building) - were being advertised, but these were funded separately, from fees and charges, and did not impact on rates.

Other staff are also being sought for vacancies in the building control and planning consents areas, but they are also not funded from rates.

Ms Jacobs said the growth in staff reflected growth in the Central Otago district and the workload of the council.

The CODC "historically" had lower numbers of staff per capita than many other councils throughout the country, she said.

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