Kelowna city manager Ron Mattiussi (left) shows then-premier Christy Clark and Mayor Colin Basran maps identifying potential flooding areas along Kelowna’s lakeshore during the this spring’s flooding. Mattiussi has announced he plans to retire in the new year. —Image: contributed

Kelowna’s city manager ready to retire

After 22 years with the city, 13 as city manager, Ron Mattiussi says it’s time step down

Ron Mattiussi has made it official—it’s time for the City of Kelowna to start looking for a new city manager.

Mattiussi, who has worked for the city for 22 years—the last 13 years as its top bureaucrat—said while he has not announced a specific date for his departure, he’ll retire from the job before next summer.

“I want to give council enough time to find a replacement,” the 61-year-old said Thursday. He added he also wants to have the search for his replacement out of the way before the run-up to next October’s municipal elections.

“When I started this job (as city manager), I said I would do it for 10 years. It’s been 13. It’s time.”

Mattiussi came to Kelowna from Edmonton in 1995 to be the city’s director of planning. In Alberta, he had been the executive director of the Edmonton Metropolitan Planning Commission.

Looking back, he said he’s proud of how Kelowna has developed in that time, particularly the downtown area, and the work city staff have done in managing growth and improving communication between the city and its residents.

During his tenure, Kelowna’s population has grown a whopping 30 per cent, making it one of the fastest growing areas in the country. And with that growth has come a myriad of issues the city has had to deal with, many of them new for local government. Dealing with the environment has moved from simply land and water protection to include larger issues such as grappling with the effects of climate change.

Housing has changed from finding homes for the hard-to-house to the bigger picture of housing affordability for all city residents. Homelessness has grown, the opioid crisis has exploded, transit and transportation issues are front of mind as are many other social issues, once seen as the purview of the province, are now being dealt with at the local level.

The complexity of the job, compared with the mid-1990s when he arrived in town, is very different today, he said.

In the new year—the city’s audit subcommittee—made up of Mayor Colin Basran and Couns. Gail Given and Luke Stack— are expected to start the process of seeking Mattiussi’s replacement. While there are some potential candidates already working at city call, city human relations director Stu Leatherdale said the search with be both internal and external.

Mattiussi said he will not be involved in picking his replacement.

As for his future, he said after he leaves city hall, he plans to do some consulting work, advising municipalities on emergency planning. He said having worked for a city with a regional emergency plan that has been developed over the years and put to the test several times, he feels he has knowledge that could benefit other communities, especially smaller municipalities.

It’s an area he is personally very familiar with, having served several times as the director of the emergency operations centre in the Central Okanagan during the wildfires of 2003 and most recently earlier this year, first dealing with flooding and its aftermath and then the threat of fire during the summer.

He said he also plans to get involved with some volunteer causes close to his heart, something that was difficult to do as city manager.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.



awaters@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

One night raises more than $100,000 for Kelowna charity

Third Space Life Charity’s gala raised more than $120,000 for mental health programs in Kelowna

Phone scam uses false RCMP ID on call display

North Okanagan RCMP say there are applications that allow people to change, hide call display info

Update: Power knocked out for 2,700 in Kelowna

FortisBC is working to restore power to area south of the highway Tuesday afternoon.

Get to know civic election candidates in Kelowna, West Kelowna

First of several all-candidates meetings scheduled for next week in the two cities

RE/MAX Kelowna helps kids in need

The real estate company donated $5,000 to the YMCA of Okanagan

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

VIDEO: a close-up look at what you were breathing during the wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Okanagan show supports youth mental health, suicide prevention

Robb Nash will be performing Oct. 2 and 3 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Ottawa working to iron out kinks in public alert system

The alerts are being credit with saving lives during last week’s tornadoes

South Okanagan neighbourhood surprised by emergency response team activity

RCMP officers were conducting emergency response training

Premier John Horgan ponders debate on voting system changes

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson wants one-on-one, no Green

Thieves rip ATM out of Sun Peaks Resort

Kamloops Rural RCMP are investigating after an ATM was stolen from the Day Lodge at Sun Peaks.

Most Read