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About The Book
This book is about the difficulty of serving in local government. It’s about finding meaning in public service and developing a deep sense of pride in making a difference to the well being of our communities. I wrote this book to provide hope and guidance to my colleagues in administration and their political partners as they work through difficult times and climb over tremendous obstacles.
It is a true story that shows what can be achieved when we are prepared to lead, when we instill a sense of urgency in the workplace culture, when we act to become part of the solution and not part of the problem, when we encourage people to have fun in the workplace, when we show people we truly care about them as human beings, when we reach out to solve contentious issues without the traditional adversarial techniques, when we become accessible as managers to clients, staff and City Councillors and when we tirelessly seek to communicate from the top to the bottom and across the silos through to the clients and back again to Council. It provides important insights on how to manage the complex and often strained relationship between administration and elected officials. It shows what can be achieved when we work as a team regardless of our administrative or political roles towards shared goals.
It’s about striving for success, not as a goal, but as a journey that never ends.
About the Author
Randy was born in Winnipeg and moved to Vancouver in 1969. He and his wife have lived in several B.C. communities, eventually settling in Kamloops where they raised their two daughters.
Randy has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and a Master’s Degree in Community Planning from the University of British Columbia, and over 37 years of employment in Municipal and Provincial Government Services. He has worked in such diverse fields as Social Work, Social Housing, University Instructor, Park Ranger and a BC Parks Planner. He also has volunteered for countless non-profit community organizations.
He joined the City of Kamloops in 1989 as the city’s Senior Planner and by 1992 was appointed the Director of the Department. In 2001, Randy was promoted to the position of Chief Administrative Officer. Throughout his career with the city, he played a significant role in the development of the Rivers Trail, Kenna Cartwright Park, The Tournament Capital of Canada Development Strategy, the city’s first Corporate and Council Strategic Plans, a unique mediation services program for resolving community disputes, the city’s first foray into the field of social planning and social housing, a sex trade social program and the development of a corporate strategy to become a “Top 100 Organization”.
Randy retired in 2012 and started Diehl Management Consultants based in Kamloops. Since then he has provided services to local governments, business groups, the private sector and non-profit groups. Diehl enjoys the work as it keeps him involved in the fields of management and planning, and provides an outlet to share his knowledge and experiences with many organizations. He believes that important skills were acquired early in his career through volunteering and working for smaller organizations. This is his way of “paying it forward”.
Diehl currently sits on the Board of the Thompson Rivers University Land Trust. He is a Guest Faculty Member for Capilano University – Municipal Training Institute (MATI) for Leadership and CAO Training Courses. And he provides mentorship services for the Local Government Management Association.
“Behind every good mayor is a great CAO. This book is a must read not only for administrators contemplating the stormy seas of working for local government, but for political newbies and veterans alike in need of schooling on the sensitive relationship between politician and bureaucrat.”
– Mel Rothenburger, Former Mayor Kamloops (1999-2005)
“This book is a must read for local government administrators and elected officials as it accurately reflects the important, and often complex relationship between them. Understanding that relationship is key to a successful civic organization.”
– Terry Lake Former Mayor Kamloops (2005-2008), Cabinet Minister – BC Government (2009 – present)
“The stories in this book show how easy it is for well-meaning people in local government to wind up heading in different directions without clear leadership. I’d recommend this book to all local government staff and politicians.”
– Peter Milobar Mayor of Kamloops (2008 – present) and Councillor (2002 – 2008)
“Insightful, inspirational and informative! This is an excellent pocket resource for those challenged with navigating the delicate relationships between politicians, administrators and the people they serve.”
– Robin Smith, Mayor of Logan Lake (2014 – Present) and Councillor (2011 – 2014)
“I strongly recommend this book to leaders in Local Government. It is a very worthwhile read for those aspiring to become a senior manager as it provides a perspective about the life of a CAO. It demonstrates that with vision, integrity, commitment and a passion for excellence meaningful cultural change can occur in any organization.”
– Ron Born, (Retired) Former CAO, City of Kelowna, BC