Formal vote of thanks to Council staff for COVID efforts
A formal vote of thanks was made to Taupō District Council staff yesterday for working ‘above and beyond’ during the nationwide response to COVID-19.
The acknowledgement was made during the May Council meeting in response to chief executive Gareth Green’s monthly performance report in which he described the actions taken by staff to help keep the community running over lock down and the weeks following.
“We had a large amount of staff working through to maintain critical infrastructure and services, and we also stood up an Emergency Operations Centre early on with our neighbours South Waikato District Council. This was an additional focus that staff don’t normally have, dealing with pure welfare issues” he said.
The council’s investment in technology also meant the majority of staff could undertake their normal roles from home as much as possible, and the majority worked through the lockdown period.
A team of staff had worked through Easter responding to the Crown Infrastructure Partners call for shovel ready projects and of the 16 projects applied for, all but one had made it through to Cabinet for further consideration. The application totalled $316 million with the prospect of creating 2400 jobs.
Mr Green said the Annual Plan also had to be rewritten to help meet the council’s goal of at least a zero percent general rates increase for the next financial year, and that had almost been completed.
“When there is a crisis, the team pulls together incredibly well and work all hours of the night and day to do all they can in the best interest of the community,” he said. “That makes me incredibly proud as a chief executive. While we hear a number of people talking about how nice it was to spend time with their families for that six-week period, I can assure you that was not the case for the majority of our staff.”
Mayor David Trewavas said the council was incredibly conscious of the amount of work that had gone into business as usual, the Crown Infrastructure Partners application, starting work on a recovery plan for the district, and running the EOC amongst other things.
“It was felt a formal vote of thanks from elected representatives to staff was appropriate for what has been an outstanding effort for a significant, extended period of time,” he said.
Mr Green said the hard work was continuing with staff now focussed on all the jobs that could not be completed during lockdown, like gardening and mowing and the like. “The staff are now continuing to work hard to bring the district up to the standard our community expects,” he said.