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Posted: February 16, 2020

Audit recommends changes at city hall

The City of Cranbrook has been cuffed.

An internal, organizational culture change is in order for the city to reach its potential, concludes a governance and management audit conducted in October 2019.

“The City of Cranbrook is a beautiful, small mountain city that attracts residents, businesses and visitors alike. To best assure its success, this organization must be designed and built to take advantage of all that council, management and staff have to offer. There is currently a significant gap between the city’s reality and its potential, and this governance audit has shone a light into the places where improvements need to be made. Cranbrook is fundamentally sound, but an internal, organizational culture change is needed to let the city develop its potential,” is renowned consultant George B. Cuff’s conclusion in a 94-page report (Cuff Report).

Cuff is considered Canada’s leading advisor, consultant and author on the art and principles of governance and effective organizations.

In his introduction to the report, dated Oct. 29, 2019, Cuff explained, “the report is as clear as we can make it recognizing the limitations imposed by time and the fact that this has been a Governance Audit and not a full-scale organization study. It identifies the concerns expressed relative to rotes and the need to clear up any misconception of those played by Mayor, Councillors and CAO. We are not interested in being party to a “he said, she said” discussion as that does not contribute to any effort to move forward. Rather, those reading this Report ought to focus on understanding what the current problems and issues are and whether or not this report properly identifies how to move beyond the status quo. We are convinced that the city council is intent on providing good leadership to the city, its residents, businesses and employees. We believe that the implementation of our recommendations will be of value in taking the right steps to a better future.”

Of note, the report features a fair amount of redacted (blacked out) material, some due to usual in-camera content and other material appears related to the ongoing leave of city chief administrative officer David Kim.

With the completion of the audit and the recommendations provided, City of Cranbrook council and management recognize areas where improvements can be made around policy development, bylaws and customer service, a city media release stated.

“We found that as an organization we are fundamentally sound, but there are some areas where we can improve. We are committed to making those improvements for the benefit of our residents, the business community along with potential developers and investors,” said Mayor Lee Pratt.

“We were very happy with our experience with Mr. Cuff and his associates during this process. George and his team brought over 40 years of municipal governance and best practices expertise to the table during this process and we believe implementing his recommendations will be of value in taking the right steps forward,” Mayor Pratt added.

Read the (redacted) Cuff Report


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