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Ballem promotes two from her team up the ladder

December 19th, 2011 · 4 Comments

I got sent this internal Penhy Ballem memo Friday night, one that many city staffers themselves missed, as they downed tools early Friday afternoon in preparation for the annual two-week shutdown at the hall.

(Rather an odd time for such an announcement, really — the ultimate “we don’t want people to see this” timing.)

As you can see below, it announces the unsurprising retirement of Ken Bayne, the head of Business Planning and Services at the city.

More interestingly, it pushes two key people up the ladder at city hall: Dave McLellan, who seems to be en route to being a deputy city manager (if that’s what “moving into the city manager’s office” means), is now going to be pushing Vision’s big file on affordable housing, while Bill Aujla, whom Ballem relied on to oversee the Olympic Village, takes over the city’s big fat real-estate portfolio.

I’m not sure I understand everything that these moves mean, but I suspect it’s all in the service of carrying out Vision’s major priorities on using city land to maximize possibilities for creating lower-cost housing.

Perhaps you all can read the memo and deconstruct for me

From: COV Broadcast Server

Sent: Friday, December 16, 2011 3:30 PM

To: All Staff (COV) – DL

Subject: COV Broadcast From City Manager – Announcement of Organizational Changes


Announcement of Organizational Changes


To all City Staff, before many of you leave for your holiday break, I wanted to announce some changes in our organization which will happen over the coming weeks. We have lots of exciting challenges and opportunities ahead of us in the New Year and after thinking about it, I decided to let you know now rather than waiting until January.


In the last few days, Ken Bayne has let me know that he will be retiring April 30, 2012. There have been rumours afoot that Ken was going to retire and it seems, unfortunately, that those rumours are true!  Ken has had an outstanding career with the city and has served the citizens of Vancouver for over 25 years. Ken is known to just about everyone in our organization – he has worked very hard over his career at the city to ensure taxpayers interests were well served and his work in the area of finance and capital planning has been behind much of the transformation of this city and its facilities over the last couple of decades. Ken is also highly regarded by many external partners particularly in the financial sector and on the Municipal Pension Plan Board of Trustees. Ken will be very much missed and I know we will all be thinking of him over the coming years roaming around the countryside on his Harley with his partner Penny! ( Be careful you two!!)


Ken’s retirement will leave a big hole in his portfolio of Business Planning and Services. Ken and I have discussed a plan for the transition. As you know, the Business Planning and Services portfolio has 4 business units: Real Estate, Facilities, 311 and the Business Planning Secretariat. Successfully completing the Facilities Shared Services project and ensuring both Facilities and Real Estate are playing their key role in supporting Council’s Housing Strategy will be a significant challenge for a new General Manager.  After much thought, I will be making the following changes in the transition to Ken’s retirement:


The Business Planning Secretariat, led by Karen Levitt, to the Financial Services Group reporting to Patrice Impey, our General Manager and CFO. Our Business Planning team brings a skill set and focus that is extremely valuable for business units across the City. This work will continue from the new positioning in the Financial Services portfolio and we will have the added advantage of a closer alignment with strategic financial planning underway under Neal Stratton’s group.


I have asked Paul Mochrie, our GM of Human Resources, to take responsibility for 311 and work with Darcy Wilson, our very capable Manager of the 311 Contact Centre,  to ensure 311 continues to enhance its role as a key asset for our city in providing service to both staff and the public.  An added bonus to this arrangement is that 311 has been an incredible role model for employee engagement in their unit and they will be well placed to share their expertise with the HR group.


The above changes leave our large Facilities Group and Real Estate in the Business Planning and Services portfolio. I am very pleased to announce that Bill Aujla has agreed to take on the position of General Manager of the Facilities and Real Estate portfolio on Ken’s retirement.  Bill is a man of many talents – trained as an engineer and a lawyer, and with an MBA – Bill brings to the role a strong track record of leadership in the organization on both the Olympic Village file and the work underway on transformation of our capital program. He is highly regarded across the city for his thoughtful leadership, will be a great addition to the CMT.


In the immediate term, I have asked Bill to step into the lead role of the Facilities Shared Services initiative. This is one of the most important projects currently underway in the city and his leadership will be critical in the success of the project.


On another front, housing, homelessness and enhancing the overall affordability of our city is a key priority for Council over the coming years.  The City’s 10 year housing strategy provides a basis for our work to support this. The action plan for the next 3 years requires strategies which involve staff across the city, other levels of government and partners in the private and non-profit sector. The Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Affordability will be a key resource for our work.


I am delighted to announce that David McLellan has agreed to join the City Manager’s office in the role of Deputy City Manager with responsibility for Housing and Strategic Public Amenities.  David will be working closely with me, CMT, and other senior staff across the organization to ensure that we are streamlining our work processes, building partnerships and optimizing opportunities in the area of housing and public amenities.


David joined the city in 2006 and has served as the GM of CSG for the last 3 years, providing strategic leadership across a broad array of program areas including planning and development services, inspections and licenses, social planning, culture and others. Having David in this new role will be a tremendous asset as we work to move the overall affordability agenda forward. I know you will join me in congratulating David. I will be initiating a search for David’s replacement as quickly as possible in the new year.


These changes will be taking place over the coming weeks to months. I would like to congratulate David and Bill and thank Ken for his many years of dedicated service. I look forward to our continued work in the New Year on our many important agendas.



Penny Ballem

City Manager



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