Big changes coming to Vancouver City Hall.
City Manager Penny Ballem is heading out the door.
Council has voted to initiate what it calls a ‘leadership transition’ and will begin the search process for a new city manager.
In the interim, Sadhu Johnston will serve as Acting City Manager.
Mayor Gregor Robertson has asked for a compensation review for the job saying he wants the best value for taxpayers.
Mayor Gregor Robertson is refusing to use the term fired, but it is clear that’s what happened to City Manager Penny Ballem , after 7 years on the job.
Robertson confirms Ballem was not asked to resign, but rather council decided to pay her 20 months’ severance, at a cost of $556,000, and told her she was done as of today.
He says the city needs fresh eyes, and a fresh perspective, and refused to address critics comment Ballem was a bully. Deputy city manager sadhu Johnston will temporarily fill the role, as the city launches an international search, which could take up to six-months.
City hall pundit Mike Klassen says the firing isn’t that unexpected
“I’ve think you’ve been seeing the slow decay of morale at the city of Vancouver over years you’ve seen so many senior managers who have left under unhappy terms I think this is something that her sort of controlling way I think just got to be too much.”
Klassen says the straw that broke the camel’s back may have been allowing Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to hold his news conference at the city’s engineering offices last week.
NPA councillor calls it mismanagement
NPA councillor George Affleck was asked his opinion on Ballem’s firing.
“Well I think this is a statement on the mismanagement of the city hall by Vision Vancouver and the mayor, we now have four vacant senior management positions at city hall, it’s unheard of.”
Affleck also says Vision Vancouver appears to be trying to ‘reinvent themselves’ as they set their sights on the next election.