A Year in Review at LAS
By Judy Dezell
Director Enterprise Centre, Business Partnerships & LAS
As another year draws to a close, it’s worth stepping back to reflect on the last twelve months of activity at LAS. Being part of LAS is truly rewarding, as we work every day with staff and elected leaders to make their communities a better place. We’ve had a busy year, growing and improving our organization to better meet the needs of Ontario’s municipal governments.
One of the most noticeable changes this year is a rebrand of Local Authority Services. We have a new logo and website, and a shared modern look to bring us into the future. This initiative will help our team better communicate with municipalities across the province. We’re looking forward to bringing this new, modern voice to our members as we continue building relationships and sharing the tools we provide the municipal sector.
On January 1, 2019, ONE Investment officially began operation as a new not-for-profit entity. Formed by LAS and MFOA, this new not-for-profit will allow ONE to provide even better investment opportunities. For more than 25 years, ONE’s focus has been to support and provide turnkey solutions to municipalities. In the last year ONE assembled a team of financial and municipal experts who can provide advice to municipalities on their investments.
In 2019, ONE worked diligently with municipalities across the province towards establishing the first Joint Investment Board. This new framework will to offer municipalities large and small access to the Prudent Investor regime and greater investment options.
At the AMO Conference in August we launched the Municipal Group Buying Program. This new offering helps municipalities save time and money on the purchases they make every day, and covers everything from office supplies to fleets to heavy equipment. By taking advantage of our procurement process municipalities can save time spent on procurement, while still meeting the high standards required when spending tax dollars. This program stretches nation-wide, allowing for even greater bulk buy savings than would be available to Ontario alone.
The response to this program has been overwhelmingly positive, and we’re excited to continue this momentum in 2020. The program currently consists of office supplies, fleet management, traffic controls, tires, culverts, ground engagement, and capital purchasing – stay tuned for additional offerings in the program in early 2020.
In 2019 we worked to make more in-person connections across the province, the initial focus was across Northern Ontario. We appreciated the time spent to meet and introduce us to your communities. We truly value the connection that comes from sitting down around a table to talk over your needs, challenges, creative solutions, and visions for the future. We plan to expand these trips in the future, and look forward to meeting in your municipality in 2020.
This work would not have been possible without the support of our team at AMO/LAS. We would like to extend our sincere thanks and well wishes to Pat Vanini, who recently retired as the Executive Director of AMO and President of LAS. Her many years of hard work and dedication were key to both AMO and LAS being the successful, respected organizations they are today. We’re excited to welcome Brian Rosborough to the role, and look forward to working with him to continue providing the value AMO and LAS bring to Ontario’s municipal sector.
I would also like to extend my thanks to the LAS team. It is a pleasure working with a group of passionate, intelligent, and dedicated staff. The work we do at LAS would not be possible without the hard work and commitment they bring to their roles every day.
We enjoyed a very successful 2019, and are excited to continue building on these accomplishments into 2020. We look forward to working with you, our municipal partners, to build on our goal of helping communities work better.
From our team at LAS, we extend our best wishes for the holiday season.