Community Services

The departments that make up Community Services enjoyed a year of relative ease. After many years of new development and growth, the organizers that run these services were able to relax a little and enjoy the fruits of their labor. As their reports reveal, staff turnover and retraining were limited this year. Those who were new walked in like pros. Every group was able to spend less time than before developing new processes and more time streamlining and improving existing ones. The relative stability offered some time and opportunities for cross-departmental learning and sharing, creating a culture of support. Most groups came in on or under budget, and purchases of additional land/sea containers will allow us to store and reuse more of what is purchased in the future. Meetings were streamlined, the use of our database for tracking volunteers was up, and we experienced a less taxing last minute struggle in the push toward the playa.

Our Director of Community Services shouldered expanded responsibilities this year, adding the Rangers (Ranger Operations, Gate, Emergency Services) under her operations umbrella. Over the past few years, no single member of senior staff coordinated all the elements of this large, diverse, and important department. Some staff turnover in administrative positions at midyear increased the requirement for governance from the senior staff. The changes made sense, however, because the Rangers fit naturally with other departments that share the main objective: serving the community at large on the playa. We began to modify some Ranger processes to more closely model those of Community Services, phasing some practices in and others out. The results will mostly be evident in 2003. The process for getting event laminates and gaining entrance to our city for staff will then be the same department-wide. The purpose and use of listservs is also becoming more unified. For the future, the role of a volunteer coordinator will be examined and perhaps expanded, and the budget process will have direct support from an LLC representative.

Our new office space contributed significantly to operational our successes providing better meeting and work spaces, better access to computers, and an environment generally more conducive to our creative process. The development of new technology tools began to improve our processes last year, and further advances will continue to give our developing department benefits in the future.

Submitted by,
Harley K. DuBois