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

Reel Reviews: Parlour games or video games

We say, “Rampage is silly fun and Truth or Dare is just silly”

Rain barrels, compost bins popular on Earth Day in Kelowna

Regional District’s annual sale sees all rain barrels sell in 90 minutes

Boil water notice in effect for Peachland

Interior Health recommends all customers drink boiled water or a safe alternative.

Final week for ALR input

Public consultation process closes April 30

Tax increase proposed to meet Lake Country facility maintenance gap

A draft of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan proposes tax increases

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Ballet Kelowna drives classic hit through Okanagan

A Streetcar Named Desire is at the Kelowna Community Theatre May 1-2, Vernon May 4

Low fog creates stunning views near Sicamous

Motorists on the highway between Salmon Arm and Sicamous were treated to spectacular scenery.

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

Okanagan-Similkameen freshet looms large: district

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen says property owners have window to prepare for flooding

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

KWIC swimmers compete in Montreal, Victoria

Kelowna-West Kelowna swimmers take to the pool at nationals and westerns.

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

Most Read