Mike Dowd, Kiama Council’s new Director Engineering & Works says he was attracted to the role by its diversity and the chance for him to make a positive impact on people’s everyday lives.
“I’m very passionate about improving community.
“This role will allow me to be at the coalface of making improvements now but also working on strategic visioning for Kiama to make it even better.
“I’ll be able to bring the ideas of staff and the community into fruition.”
A civil engineer with a diverse range of experience in the public and private sectors, Mr Dowd has most recently worked as Wollongong Council’s Manager Infrastructure Strategy and Planning.
He’s quickly acquainted himself with the works schedule, and met his staff of over 100, and is impressed that everything is up-to-date despite extra work being on the plate following the Special Rates Variation.
“Darren Brady has done a great job in the relieving role,” he says.
“I can see the people in my department are very passionate about wanting to do the best by the community and are very good at what they do.”
In addition to getting to know the concerns of the various councillors, he is keen to meet with the precincts.
“I want to support concerns that are important to the community – whether it is the stormwater drain that is blocked, the park that is not mown, the pool that has kelp in it, whatever – to get those things addressed and improved as best we can,” he says.
On the vexed issue of parking, he is keen to work toward solutions but says some give is needed.
“Parking issues are common in most growing towns, particularly those in tourist areas.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do about it, but there is a mind shift needed too.
“People need to adjust their expectations a little bit to cater for it, as there are so many positives that come from a thriving centre.”
Mr Dowd says he is looking forward to working with the new proactive executive team that the General Manager is putting together.
A resident of Wollongong, Mr Dowd says he has had a soft spot for Kiama since his grandfather used to bring him down here from Port Kembla on holidays.