Kelowna city hall reorganized again

Five years after a reorganization turned the bureaucratic structure "upside down," another major change has been made.

Five years after a major shake up at Kelowna City Hall that saw a total re-organization of how the civic bureaucracy operates, another major change has been made.

City manager Ron Mattiussi has dropped the general manager system he put in place in 2008, where there existed a small executive team and a larger leadership team one level below that.

“Over the last five years it became apparent the leadership team was too big and the executive team (general managers) was too small,” said Mattiussi.

Now seven departments—some made up of a combination of what were, until last week, separate departments—will report directly to him, while a new group, called strategic services, will be formed and report to the city’s new deputy city manager Paul Macklem.

Macklem, a former city finance department head and most recently Kelowna’s general manager of corporate sustainability, returned to the city after a year’s secondment to the Central Okanagan Regional District, where he ran CORD until a new chief administration officer was found.

Mattiussi told the Capital News Wednesday the changes at city hall went into effect Tuesday and he described them as more a “tweak” than the re-organization that turned the structure at city hall “upside down” in 2008.

The biggest change is the elevation of Macklem to the new position of deputy city manager and the creation of the new strategic services group, that will be headed by former community services general manager John Vos.

The new group will include the airport, regional services, business development and the fire department and part of its mandate will be to work on projects where the city can generate revenue apart from the taxes it collects from property owners each year.

“Municipal government is more complicated now,” said Mattiussi. “We do a lot more than we used to and we need much more flexibility.”

Mattiussi gave the example of the recent deal with Interior Health to move its workforce downtown as the sort of project the new group would work on.

“In that case, we turned a new parkade into an opportunity to get as many as 1,000 more people working downtown,” he said. “I see that as an investment in downtown.”

That deal calls for Interior Health to build a new office tower at the corner of St. Paul Street and Doyle Avenue to consolidate its Kelowna workforce.

As part of the plan, the city will build a new parkade across the street and expand the existing Library parkade at total cost of about $20 million.

“We see the (IHA) plan as economic development,” he added.

Mattiussi also pointed to the recently completed deal with Fortis B.C. that saw the company buy the assets of the city’s electric utility for $50 million.

The city will invest that money in Fortis to generate returns while avoiding the cost of maintaining and repairing the electric utility’s equipment over the next 20 years.

The seven departments that will now report directly to Mattiussi—instead of a departmental general manager—are community planning and real estate, headed by Doug Gilchrist, infrastructure, headed by Vos until he hires a divisional director, civic operations, headed by Joe Creron, active living and culture, headed by Jim Gabriel, corporate and protective services, headed by Rob Mayne, communications and information services, headed by Carla Weaden and human resources and corporate performance, headed by Stu Leatherdale.

Both Gilchrist and Mayne filled in for Macklem as corporate sustainability general manager when Macklem was at the regional district.

Mattiussi said the public will not see a change in how services are delivered but the new corporate structure at city hall will result in cost savings, more flexibility for the city and better efficiently.

He said while there will not be any layoffs as a result of the plan and could not think of any employee who would be downgraded as a result, he said part of the point of the reorganization in the first place was to deal with succession planning.

A large number of senior city staff, including Mattiussi, who is 57, are expected to retire in 2016.

 

 

Just Posted

Great news for Indigenous youth program in BC

The federal government came through with over $1 million in funding for Indigenous youth program

Telephone poles placed in centre of sidewalk angers West Kelowna watchdog

Audience Group calls placement of poles in new Boucherie Road upgrade project ‘idiocy’

Kelowna asking public to help update its Cultural Plan

Second survey this year to posted to gather public input about cultural programs and services

Blood transfusion saved colitis-stricken Lake Country woman’s life

Rebecca Roth encourages public to support Lake Country blood donor clinic Sept. 26

Three candidates drop out of Central Okanagan municipal election

Two running for Peachland/OK West trustee and OK East rural director candidate step aside

Your weekend weather update

Rain continues to move right across the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen.

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

Low risk associated with case of pneumococcal disease in the South Okanagan

No identified risk to the public from recent case of pneumococcal disease with associated meningitis

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Most Read