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Mayoral Column 8 February 2016

Released on 8 February 2016

Fond farewell to Loddon Shire CEO

Many will have heard on the grapevine that our Council and community will soon farewell long serving Chief Executive Officer John McLinden and his family who are relocating to Swan Hill.

John has tendered his resignation and is looking forward to new challenges after accepting a position as Chief Executive Officer of Swan Hill Rural City Council.

Many in our community personally know John and his wife Therese, who raised their family in Serpentine and have actively worked with the broader community’s best interests at heart for many years.

John grew up on a farm within the Shire, and after forging an engineering career, returned to the locality in March 1993 after accepting a position as the Shire of East Loddon engineer.

He was promoted to Director of Operations, a position he held for 11 years, before taking to the helm as Loddon Shire Council’s CEO for a further 10 year period.

John’s career path is one that many within our community would like to see repeated, as he has journeyed from the farm gate, to building a skills base which he could return to the community.

In tendering his resignation, John paid special tribute to the countless community members who contribute so much to life in Loddon.

While my fellow councillors, staff and the Loddon community will be sorry to say goodbye to the McLinden family, we wish them nothing but the best for their future move.

John’s final day with Loddon Shire is Friday 18 March and he commences duties at Swan Hill Rural City Council on 21 March.

Council is now looking forward to beginning a new chapter, with a replacement CEO to be appointed at Loddon Shire in the near future.

Surveying Loddon Shire customer satisfaction

Random survey requests are common these days, particularly around dinner time!

However, if you receive a call from JWS Research asking your thoughts about Loddon Shire over the next few weeks we’d encourage you to have your say.

While it’s possible you haven’t been selected to participate previously, the Local Government Services Survey has actually been conducted on an annual basis for many years and is a valuable tool for improving Council operations.

Residents within Loddon Shire will be randomly selected to participate in the survey, designed to determine satisfaction levels relating to a broad range of services and issues.

These include, but are not limited to, community consultation, waste management, recreational and community facilities, disability and aged care services, road maintenance, business and tourism development, planning and building permits, emergency and disaster management, local laws enforcement, family support services, the appearance of public areas, communication methods and improvement suggestions.

If you receive a phone call to participate in the survey I would encourage you to take a few minutes to do so as your input provides information which will help us to improve future service provision.

We look forward to receiving a formal report detailing your thoughts towards the end of May.

Get behind Pyramid Hill Swim-a-thon

The inaugural Pyramid Hill Swim-a-thon is on this weekend and funds raised will go towards celebrations to mark the pool’s 50th birthday.

Council’s public pools are vital meeting places, providing an environment which encourages physical activity and social enjoyment, which are a winning combination for building healthy communities.

As such I would encourage residents to support the Council sponsored, community focused event to be held from 10.30am this Sunday 14 February.

If you can swim two laps of a pool (with or without floating aids!) you can compete in a team event, alternatively, you can sponsor a swimmer, buy a raffle ticket, enjoy a barbecue lunch prepared by The Pyramid Hill Lions Club or save up some gold coins for a cuppa and cake.

Either way you’ll be supporting the Pyramid Hill Swimming Pool Committee to plan a fantastic community celebration expected to get underway in November.

For further information about how you can become involved contact Katrina van Eyk on 0438 894 437 or Emily Stewart on 0459 375 949.

Seeking a fresh Shire snapshot

Every five years the Australian Bureau of Statistics gathers information which provides a picture of how Loddon Shire’s population is developing and changing.

Census year has rolled around again and planning is underway to gather information about the age and stage of life those living within our Shire.

The collated information detailing employment rates and fields, interests and other designated facts are subsequently used by Council to accurately pre-empt future community needs and explore options for economic development and strengths promotion.

The ABS is looking for tech savvy, community minded area supervisors to recruit, train, lead and supervise field officers who will assist residents to complete this year’s Census from their homes.

Data collected from the 2016 Census will support funding decisions for services and infrastructure including housing, transport, education, industry, hospitals and the environment.

Applications for area supervisor positions must be lodged by 21 February, for details visit abs.gov.au/careers.

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