Officials: Program is bringing efficiency, savings

Officials: Program is bringing efficiency, savings

PAWTUCKET - Using new leadership tools and problem-solving skills, city leaders say they are achieving greater efficiency, smarter use of budgets, and improved relationships between departments.

"Not all of Pawtucket's bridge improvements are built of concrete and steel," said Mayor Donald Grebien. "Building bridges between our city's municipal departments also is paving the way to continued progress. And like the visible ones, these bridges are building momentum by maximizing resources and improving service to our citizens."

Grebien and other leaders are crediting a program called Leadership Matters R.I. as a key driver in recent positive shifts. They say it has enabled city workers to better work together to make improvements.

The long-term goal of the program is to provide a resource for public leaders to help them improve their leadership skills and utilize best practices from other communities.

As the program steward for Pawtucket, Grebien nominated the city's other three participants. He selected Director of Finance Joanna L'Heureux and School Department CFO Melissa Devine. The two have been working to build shared systems and improved services. The fourth participant is Director of Constituent Services Dylan Zelazo.

"Even though we've only completed the first phase of the program, already we're seeing tangible improvements in operational efficiency, which means we're more effectively using our human and financial resources," said Zelazo "We also realized that whether you're a natural leader or someone who needs to work at it, public leadership is a profession like any other. Skills and practices can be learned and improved."

The training is translating into dollar savings and improved efficiencies through such moves as integrating computer systems between the city and school department and ordering supplies together, said Grebien.