By Ally Dunham
City council voted 6-1 in favour of a resolution to support a Growth and Retain Strategy created behind closed doors for Dryden Municipal Telephone System (DMTS) and Dryden Mobility.
Mayor Craig Nuttall and all councillors with the exception of Ken Moss voted to support the strategy, which reads, “As per the recommendation of the city managers closed report, AD2011-23, council provided direction to staff for the purposes of developing the retain and growth strategy for DMTS and Dryden Mobility.”
Councillor Mike Wood asked for this resolution to be severed from the consent agenda, to ensure a recorded vote was publicly taken.
“It’s a fairly important city asset, in fact one of our largest ones, and a lot of work has been done out of necessity in closed sessions, but bringing this into the open session is an endorsement by council to retain the growth strategy that was put in place,” said Wood at the regular council meeting of October 17. “It’s a continuing endorsement and I thought it was worthwhile to pull it from the pile.”
City manager, Joe van Koeverden said, “I’m having regular meetings with the management of DMTS to look at our forecast for this year, and analyze our revenues and expenses accordingly and see what we can do to modify our operating structure for next year, put ourselves in a better picture for next year. It’s an ongoing process of refinement and improvement of our operating direction for DMTS.”
Van Koeverden says there are some other options being investigated through the consultant to see if it’s possible to expand and grow the company into different areas, different markets, and provide different services.
“I really can’t tell you too much, but that was my feeling tonight was that I was going to vote against it. I’m not comfortable where we are right now with DMTS, we’re looking forward to it going ahead, we’re all working very hard in front and behind closed doors to make it prosper,” said councillor Moss regarding his vote against the resolution. “At this point I voted that way and I have to keep that confidential for now.”
In a report from Capital Planning and Technology presented at this meeting, it reads that TBaytel completed 90 per cent of fibre cable system installation within Dryden at this time on Princess Street from Colonization Ave. to the downtown area.
“There’s no question that competitors will continue to do what they do, which is look for market share and that’s why we as a company need to make sure that we do everything we can to protect our asset, to grow our asset and make it as profitable for the citizens that we can,” said Wood. “That was today’s endorsement.”
Wood says the strategy is a continuation of what has already been started with DMTS.
“No business makes a plan and then walks away and never checks it. Active business management requires that you review your operations every year, in depth, to make sure that what you’re doing today makes sense for today, tomorrow and the future,” said Wood.