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Head of engineering, manager community services retire at Vancouver city hall

April 15th, 2015 · 12 Comments

This memo from city manager Penny Ballem just in from the troops. I’d heard about Peter Judd from hallway gossip this week, but the rest is news to me and I’m not totally sure what it all means.

Dear Colleagues,

Since the start of the new Council term, I have been working with various members of the Corporate Management Team to restructure a few of our portfolios to further enhance our ability to achieve the ambitious goals of Council.  I thought it would be useful to summarize these in one message – some of these will occur in the short term and others will take a few months to put in place.

As you know, Peter Judd is retiring this month and Jerry Dobrovolny has agreed to step in as Acting City Engineer and General Manager of Engineering Services.  A national search will be undertaken to replace Peter.  We will also be establishing a Deputy City Engineer/Deputy General Manager position for Engineering, given the size and complexity of that portfolio, and will be recruiting for that position over the coming months.

I have asked Sandra Singh, Chief Librarian at Vancouver Public Library, to take responsibility for the strategic leadership at CMT for the City of Vancouver Archives portfolio.  Archives will continue to report to the City Clerk and be part of the City Clerk’s Office but Sandra will be responsible at a senior level for working on the strategic opportunities and plans with senior staff at the Archives.  The alignment of Archives along with Sandra’s leadership, particularly in the context of the Digital Strategy, will allow the ongoing development of a strategic plan to enable the full opportunity of public access to our Archives, something which has been part of their vision for a significant period of time.

I have spoken with Patrice Impey, Chief Financial Officer and General Manager of Financial Services, and Paul Mochrie, General Manager of Human Resources and Digital Strategy, and we have agreed to move the Information Technology team, under the leadership of the Chief Information Officer, to Paul Mochrie’s portfolio which will now be called Human Resources, Digital Strategy and IT.  This will bring together the CIO and the IT group – key enablers of the Digital Strategy, the Chief Digital Officer and the Web Team, and 311 all under one General Manager, aligning key skills and resources as we move into the next phase of the digital strategy and through it, further transforming the City.  This change will also enable Patrice and her team to further develop our investment and work over the past few years in a City-wide Finance organization, the Risk Management portfolio, lean Process Management, Supply Chain Management and, as well, broaden the impact of Business Planning and Capital Project Management to enhance value for money and business performance across the City.  Patrice’s portfolio will now be called Finance, Risk and Business Planning to reflect this new emphasis.

Finally, over the last few months, there have been a number of organizational changes in the Community Services portfolio – Housing policy has been moved under the Chief Housing Officer and Building Inspections under the General Manager of Planning and Development Services.  Brenda Prosken will be leaving the City after six years in the Community Services portfolio, first as Deputy General Manager and then as General Manager for the last two and a half years.  Brenda has made a significant contribution to the City since coming to us from the Vancouver Public Library in 2008 and will be missed.  I have asked Teresa Hartman, Director of the Vancouver Services Review, to step in and lead this portfolio over the coming months, working with me on a review of the Community Services portfolio and related opportunities to align its many functions to support the various policy initiatives of Council, many of which are underway. Following on that,  the GM position will be posted and a search undertaken.  I know you will all join me in thanking Brenda for her service to the City and wishing her the very best.

Our organization will continue to change in response to the numerous strategic initiatives underway. I would like to thank all the members of CMT who have worked with me on these shifts and changes.  Our goal is to work hard to ensure that those impacted by these changes have appropriate information and support as we move through these changes.  Thank you for your patience.

Penny Ballem

City Manager


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