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Manager of sustainability group bows out at Vancouver city hall

January 6th, 2010 · 18 Comments

Several sources have notified me that Melina Scholefield, the one-time manager of the city’s sustainability group, is packing it in at city hall.

(Here’s the official blurb on her job:

Melina Scholefield
Manager of Sustainability
Melina manages the Sustainability Group, a branch of the City dedicated to climate protection, green architecture, active transportation, sustainable systems and bringing sustainability to all aspects of running and building the city.)

For those who don’t recall, Melina was given the job of managing after former sustainability leader Tom Osdoba, in some kind of weird, never-completely-explained contretemps with the city, left in 2006 and went back to Portland from when he had come. Osdoba, in the previous administration, pushed hard to have the Olympic village be a model of green, which led to some famous tussles at the hall between him and the Village People.

I’ll be surprised if they replace Melina, given that the new deputy city manager, Sadhu Johnston, was hired for his super-green credentials and will be leading the move post-Olympics to put some flesh on the abstract bones of the city’s green plans.

Categories: City Hall Talk

  • Glissando Remmy

    The Sustainable Thought of the Day

    “I am thinking of joining the mayor’s future “Bike to Work” rewards program. So what if I am working from home? I’ll be doing laps around the house on my city bike every morning or 22 minutes of high level endurance cycling, on my stationary bike. You can do it too! Want to hear the punch line? I will sell my carbon credits to my neighbour so he, in return, may offset his carpool to work. “

    Brilliant! All done through a Virgin Carbon Fighter subsidiary, coming to a neighbourhood near you, following Branson’s net-zero energy appearance in a month’s time. You read it here first!

    To the topic now; Frances, stop the presses!
    Judging by your last two posts (re. Melina probable departure and our amigo from Toronto) I am starting to make more sense than ever. Remember this abbreviation: FHFHF (Friendly Hiring Following Hostile Firing)?
    This one alone is going to define the short lived Vision reign. By the end of 2011 they’ll be remembered as the Vancouver Visigoths.

    It turns out that my resolutions for the year 2010 (2010: The Vancouver Year; January 1st, 2010 – Glissando’s resolutions) are not out of line, they may show some potential after all; if they are played right, of course! I am posting them one more time, mind me, a little change in number FIVE…

    ONE. Work on my American accent.
    TWO. Immerse myself in medical lingo (watch ER, GREY’s Anatomy), good transferable skills for management (so I’ve heard).
    THREE. Attend the Tranquility Election Seminar, package No. 08 (deep reality massage, opposition party exfoliation, common sense detoxification, impure thoughts cleansing, spin bugging…) at Hollyhock; get to know the people.
    FOUR. When ONE, TWO and THREE are completed, apply and get the dream overpaid managerial job with the City of Vancouver. Make sure that FHFHF (Friendly Hiring Following Hostile Firing) ratio is also maintained.
    FIVE. For a successful market capitalization and brand name recognition I will attempt to change my name to something ritzier, say… Robert Gregorson.

    Oh, one more… if what you’ve suggested (a future manager of sustainability hire is no hire at all) it turns out to be true, my only observation would be that the new powers at city hall are making everyone asking themselves the question: “Why do they include jokers in a deck of cards?” Nobody knows, really, but they are good to have, just in case.

    Being Medieval here for a second, Manager of Sustainability in 1210 AD would have been someone in charge of making sure the King wouldn’t suffer the indignity of inhaling his own fragrant self, during his ruling over his private chambered hole in the floor, right?. And of course he would have been the one in charge of hiring the poop washers and accordingly the Castle nutritionist. I heard that when the dump hit the plank, after falling exactly three floors, it splashed inside three meters radium; a bucket of rose water afterwards was a must. Aristocrats, eh!?

    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

  • FBT


    Wonderful comment. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Damn it though, I didn’t realize someone else had came up with the same name change I was planning on.

  • Jimmy Olson

    @Glissando Congratulations. .. One of the best Posts i have read in a long time!

    PS WTF is a “sustainability manger”? Sustainability … my arse. Ain’t no such beast or thing.

  • Rob

    For the record, people who do not know Melina. She was one of the best if not the best manager in the City. She is resigning because of completely unrealistic and impossible expectations of City Manager, Mayor and Council. I don’t think anyone would be able to fill her shoes.


  • observer

    A huge loss to the city. Melina is smart, committed, extremely hard working and knows how to get sustainability through the system. She will be missed.

  • Bert

    … Anyone else tired of baby boomers venting their spleen and spewing bile on environmental issues? Yeah. Me too. Note to boomers- Please hurry up and die so that we can bury you, sequester your carbon, and get on to solving the important issues of our generation and our children’s.

  • Frank

    I will echo the comments about Melina. She is very bright and a wonderful person to know and to work with. It is sad that she is leaving but I’m sure she will continue her great work elsewhere.

  • Noel

    I have been working with the City for more than 25 years as senior manager, top five most brilliant, smartest, political savvy, best negotiator and very hardworking people I worked with, are Melina, Brent Toderian, Lon LaClair, Bill Ajula and Larry Beasley.
    That is a huge huge loss to the City and it would take years to hire a person like Melina.


  • landlord

    Hey Bert, this is one boomer who plans to be cremated just to leave you and the other whipper-snappers a going-away present.

  • Kevin

    I agree with Noel, I have been working with the City for more than ten years, not as a senior manger but in unionized position. I would include Jody Andrews as one of the superstars who ever worked or are working with the City. On one hand I cannot appreciate enough the dedication of these individuals and on the other hand there are COUPLE of people in Transportation division, who have established their own mini empire and neither Council nor City Manager knows about that. I am sure most City hall employees would figure out who I am referring to.


  • Adrian

    While talking about star performers at City Hall , I must mention names of some unsung heroes who are not very well known to all but are definitely the most brilliant , very hardworking, smartest and sincerely dedicated to public service . In the list of top five people, I would include Kevin Cavell, Vicki Potter, Michelle McGuire, Doug Robinson and Wali Memon.


  • spartikus

    Question for the hive mind: Why doesn’t M. Scholefield appear on the list

  • spartikus


    Why doesn’t M. Scholefield appear on the list of “Employees earning over $75,000”?

    Not alleging anything shady, just genuinely curious.

  • dave

    Not sure but most likely she took unpaid leave for whatever reason.

  • Alex

    hey spartikus – she doesn’t appear on the list because she was on mat leave mid 2008 to mid 2009

  • Jay

    There are some very incompetent managers in Engineering. I wonder why they are being tolerated and competent people are leaving , that should not happen.


  • Rebecca

    Wouldn’t surprise me if she’s one of the lucky folks being called at home at all hours…that would make most people dump their job. Nice lady but I think they need someone with more management experience in that role or heck, maybe Sadhu is the “it” man.

  • analiza

    hi there,
    does anyone knows the email add of melina scholefield? pls send it to my email address.thanks a lot and i really appreciate it.