A year in the hot seat

IT’S now been over a year since Dean Griggs took on the role of General Manager of the Derwent Valley Council.
The Derwent Valley Gazette recently caught up with Mr Griggs to reflect on his time in the Derwent Valley council so far.

“When I first came into the role, one of the best parts was how welcoming everyone was, particularly the staff,” Mr Griggs said.

“Part of what the council wanted from me was to be out and about in the community and it’s been an easy thing to do because the community has been so welcoming.”

Mr Griggs said the improvements that have been made within council, including greater staff communications, were some of the highlights of his time, but he could not look past the work on the Willow Court Precinct as one of the greatest changes.

“One of the bigger projects when I started was activating the Willow Court Precinct, getting to know the proponents and now, having this space open for both locals and people from interstate and outside the Valley to come and experience the Barracks in a different way for the first time in 20 years, it’s certainly been a highlight.”

Looking forward, Mr Griggs said council will be planning for the growth the Derwent Valley is anticipating.

“The next 12 months will be delivering on a different level, delivering on a higher standard and pursuing excellence, but we do have some challenges.”

“We have a structural deficit which we need to fix, but we have a long-term financial strategy going to council next week, which will give us a long-term way to look at our finances, so we can move ourselves to a better place financially.”

“I think some of the things that are happening in the Valley, like the growth through the new development, winning the Top Tourism Town award, people coming out to see exhibitions, to the new distilleries, new breweries, means that we have to lift, be ready for the demands that comes in terms of the expectations of us as a council.”