Open Letter to the Residents of Leduc
The anger, shock and distress that the residents of Leduc have been expressing over the past few weeks is understandable. It is of little comfort to hear generalities about what the City has done, when details and specifics are being demanded. With partial information in hand, I can see why people feel that not enough has been done.
I can tell you that the decisions that I have made relied on advice and counsel from not only my executive team, but the RCMP, external legal counsel and human resource professionals. But I cannot share all the information. These are personnel matters – they are private and confidential and legislated as such.
Ultimately my decisions were guided by the principle of doing what is right over what is easy. I will keep making decisions from that foundation – and that may mean those decisions take more time than is comfortable.
We have a shared goal – the city administration and those suing the City – We all want a safe and respectful workplace for every employee of the City of Leduc. The executive team and I are taking action to ensure that the harmful incidents of the past are not repeated.
Already there has been significant personnel change at Leduc Fire Services. The City conducted a rigorous recruitment process to find the right person to lead Leduc Fire Services. Chief Bryan Singleton is committed to creating a team that values diversity, inclusion, and equity. A team that supports the mental and physical health of every member.
Our Respect in the Workplace policy and procedures have been updated with input from our staff and according to best practice. It now provides greater clarity for all employees about what is expected and what to do when those expectations are not being met.
We have implemented and continue to build on a mental wellness strategy that includes education, information, mental health days in our leave plan, and Occupational Health and Safety programs that drive a positive work culture.
Council approved funding and the administration has retained a firm, Howatt HR Consulting, to conduct an equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) review of all our policies and procedures. We will build on the organizational culture work that has already been done, and the Howatt team will work with us from the ground up to develop and implement a long-term EDI strategy.
We all want the same thing – a city workplace that is healthy and safe, for anyone that wants to work in service to this community. This is my priority. This is my commitment.
Derek Prohar, MMV, MSM, CD
City Manager, City of Leduc