Memoranda issued by City Manager

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Information on the publication of memoranda

Memoranda issued by the City of Ottawa’s Senior Leadership Team to all Members of Council and the media will be published here when available. The memoranda are published on an ongoing basis as they become available and will remain online for a period of one year from the date of issuance.  Residents wishing to obtain copies of memoranda that are no longer available online should contact the relevant department through one of the City’s general inquiry processes.

In accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), some attachments have not been proactively disclosed. If you are seeking an attachment that is not available online, please visit ottawa.ca/mfippa for information on filing an access to information request.

Staffing Update – Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development

To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Wendy Stephanson
Subject: Staffing Update – Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development
Date: February 1, 2024

The purpose of this memo is to provide you with a staffing update within the Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development Department (PRED).

Further to my Memo to Council on December 11, 2023, Vivi Chi officially assumed the role of Interim General Manager (GM) of PRED on January 2, 2024, following Don Herweyer’s retirement announcement.

Throughout the month of January, Vivi and Don have worked closely to ensure a seamless leadership transition and the continued success of the PRED team to deliver on Council’s priorities and advance city building files that will shape Ottawa now and in the future.

Following a successful transition period, I am pleased to announce that Don will officially assume the role of Special Advisor, Planning, effective today, February 1, 2024, until his retirement on April 19, 2024. As Special Advisor, Don will report directly to me and support Vivi as Interim GM to continue advancing several key projects including the Development Charge By-law, Lansdowne 2.0, the Community Development Plan(s) Review, New Zoning By-law, and ongoing Provincial planning charges.

As Mayor Sutcliffe shared in his Memo to Council on January 25, the hiring process for the new GM of PRED launched on January 24, 2024, through the executive search firm Odgers Berndtson with a closing date of March 1, 2024.

I look forward to providing an update to Council by way of memorandum after a contract with the successful candidate is finalized and executed.

The senior leadership team continues to invest significantly in succession planning to ensure both the short- and long-term success of the organization. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.

Sincerely,
Wendy Stephanson
City Manager
 

cc: Senior Leadership Team
Extended Senior Leadership Team
Nathalie Gougeon, Auditor General
Sonia Bebbington, Ottawa Public Library
Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa Public Health
Chief Eric Stubbs, Ottawa Police Services

Organizational Alignment

To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Wendy Stephanson
Subject: Organizational Alignment
Date: January 24, 2023
 

The purpose of this memo is to inform you of an organizational alignment implemented effective today, January 24, 2023.

The organizational alignment balances the requirement to advance the priorities identified to date for this Term of Council, while strengthening accountability and transparency, increasing organizational effectiveness, and building upon a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement. 

The changes made to the City’s structure include the creation of a new Finance and Corporate Services department, and the alignment of strategic corporate functions within the City Manager’s Office, as follows:

Creation of a new Finance and Corporate Services department by merging Innovative Client Services with Finance Services

Merging Innovative Client Services with Finance Services creates stronger synergies between corporate services functions, strengthens our overall service delivery to internal and external clients, and increases organizational effectiveness through innovation and continuous improvement.

The new Finance and Corporate Services department will include the following service areas:
• Corporate Finance Services
• Financial Strategies, Planning and Client Service
• Fleet Services
• Human Resources
• Information Technology Services
• Payroll, Pension and Benefits
• Revenue Services
• ServiceOttawa
• Supply Services
• Business Support Services 

The new Finance and Corporate Services department will be led by Cyril Rogers, Acting General Manager and Chief Financial Officer. Cyril will work closely with the seasoned departmental leadership team to enhance client relationship management, improve service delivery and enhance the overall client experience.

Alignment of strategic corporate functions within the City Manager’s Office

Legal Services, Public Information and Media Relations, and Service Transformation will move to the City Manager’s Office. This alignment will provide the strategic oversight required to effectively advance the 2022-2026 City Strategic Plan and Term of Council priorities, strengthen organizational accountability and transparency through data-driven information, and embed innovation in the corporate culture to enhance continuous improvement.

Legal Services, led by David White, City Solicitor, and the Public Information and Media Relations team, led by Andrea Lanthier-Seymour, Chief Communications Officer, will report directly to me. The Service Transformation team will report to Steve Box, Director of the City Manager’s Office.

As part of the implementation of today’s organizational alignment, the General Manager position of the former Innovative Client Services department was declared redundant. As a result, Valerie Turner has departed the organization. I would like to thank Valerie for her contributions to the City of Ottawa during her tenure, and I wish her well in her future endeavors.

There are no anticipated impacts to service as a result of the organizational alignment.

The changes implemented today build upon the progress and improvements that have been made to many of our corporate functions throughout the last several years. I have full confidence that these alignments will best position the organization to successfully deliver on Council’s priorities while enhancing accountability, transparency and service delivery. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.

Sincerely,
Wendy Stephanson
Interim City Manager

cc: Senior Leadership Team
Nathalie Gougeon, Auditor General
Sonia Bebbington, Ottawa Public Library
Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa Public Health
​​​​​​​Chief Eric Stubbs, Ottawa Police Services

Memo: Recruitment of City Clerk (December 13, 2023)

To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Wendy Stephanson
Subject: Recruitment of City Clerk
Date: December 13, 2023

The purpose of this memo is to inform Council that an executive search for a new City Clerk will be launched today and will remain open until January 12, 2024. The executive search for this position follows the retirement of the former City Clerk Rick O’Connor.

The City Clerk position is being advertised with key organizations and on platforms including the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO), Municipal Information Network News, Federation of Canadian Municipalities and LinkedIn.

The City Clerk is a mandatory statutory officer appointed by Council under the Municipal Act, 2001. At the City of Ottawa, in addition to fulfilling legislative requirements under the Act, the City Clerk leads the Office of the City Clerk and ensures that all statutory obligations are administered to fully comply with provincial legislation, particularly as it relates to matters such as elections, access to information and privacy, information management, archives, Council and Committee meetings, the Council-adopted Accountability Framework and municipal governance.

As announced in August, David White will continue to serve as City Solicitor and Interim City Clerk during this period of transition, and the Mayor and Members of Council will be advised on the outcome of the recruitment process once it is complete.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.

Sincerely,

Wendy Stephanson
City Manager

cc: Senior Leadership Team
Extended Senior Leadership Team
Nathalie Gougeon, Auditor General
Sonia Bebbington, Ottawa Public Library
Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa Public Health
Chief Eric Stubbs, Ottawa Police Services

Memo: Senior Leadership Team Update – Interim General Manager, Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development (December 11, 2023)

To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Wendy Stephanson
Subject: Senior Leadership Team Update – Interim General Manager, Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development
Date: December 11, 2023

The purpose of this memo is to inform Members of Council that Don Herweyer, Interim General Manager (GM) of Planning, Real Estate and Economic Development (PRED), will be retiring in the spring of 2024. To ensure a seamless leadership transition, Vivi Chi, Director of Transportation Planning, will move into the role of Interim GM of PRED effective January 2, 2024, until a permanent GM is announced.

Don has dedicated 36 years of municipal public service to the City of Ottawa. Since August 2022, he has successfully led the team in PRED to advance transformative files that will shape Ottawa’s future including the Official Plan, the Transportation Master Plan and Climate Change Master Plan. Throughout the past 18 months, Don has brought stability to the department by working closely with his leadership team to navigate multiple provincial legislative announcements that have led to unprecedented changes to how the department functions. Don has successfully led the department through two budgets, further provincial changes to the Official Plan, work on the new Zoning and Development Charges by-law, Lansdowne 2.0 and the Community Improvement Plan review.

Don has made significant and lasting contributions to our great city and will be missed by his team for his supportive leadership style and commitment to building strong and productive relationships with employees, elected officials and community partners. Around the senior leadership team table, Don will be missed for his collaborative nature and in-depth knowledge.

A formal recognition will take place closer to Don’s retirement date. Please join me in thanking Don for his dedication to the City of Ottawa and wishing him well as he prepares for the next chapter.

Effective January 2, Vivi Chi will begin working closely with Don and the departmental leadership team as she transitions into the role of Interim GM of PRED. Vivi is a professional civil engineer with more than 35 years of experience in municipal government, beginning with the former Region of Ottawa-Carleton, then the amalgamated City of Ottawa. Her career started inconstruction and progressed quickly to planning major transportation projects that improve mobility options for residents.

Vivi is a seasoned leader within the organization having served in several senior management roles including most recently as Director of Transportation Planning and as Associate General Manager (AGM) of PRED from 2021 to 2022. As AGM, Vivi had the opportunity to strengthen the core leadership skills and competencies required of a GM.

Vivi excels in challenges and has led many high-profile city-building initiatives such as the West Transitway Extension, the O-Train pilot project, the Corktown Bridge, the Laurier Bike Lanes, Churchill Avenue and the City’s first Transportation Master Plan. These projects and others have won several provincial and national awards for innovation and design excellence.

A proven collaborator, coach and mentor, Vivi is committed to providing opportunities for staff to excel, building trust and alliances with external partners, and working collaboratively to deliver on Council’s priorities.

Both Don and Vivi remain committed to the continued success of the PRED team. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.

Sincerely,

Wendy Stephanson
City Manager

cc: Senior Leadership Team
Extended Senior Leadership Team
Nathalie Gougeon, Auditor General
Sonia Bebbington, Ottawa Public Library
Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa Public Health
Chief Eric Stubbs, Ottawa Police Services

Memo: Rick O'Connor Retirement (August 21, 2023)

To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Wendy Stephanson
Subject: Rick O'Connor Retirement
Date: August 21, 2023

The purpose of this memo is to inform you that Rick O’Connor, City Clerk, will be retiring from the City of Ottawa effective September 1, 2023.

Rick has dedicated close to 35 years of municipal public service to the City of Ottawa. During his tenure, he has served as City Clerk, and previously as City Clerk and Solicitor, City Solicitor and Deputy City Clerk in the post-amalgamated organization. In these senior leadership roles, Rick championed transparent, accountable and open government initiatives, such as Council’s Accountability Framework, which included the Lobbyist Registry, the Employee Code of Conduct and the routine and pro-active disclosure policies.

Rick also served as the City’s Chief Electoral Officer during the last four Terms of Council, where he was responsible for all Ottawa municipal and school board elections from 2010 to 2022. In this role, Rick and his team did an exceptional job leading the transition of outgoing Councillors, the orientation of incoming Members of Council, as well as Council’s adoption of its new governance tools, such as the Procedure By-law and the committee structures.

Rick will be missed by the Office of the City Clerk team for his commitment to servant leadership, coaching his people and championing the importance of relationship building, not only within his team, but across the organization. As a member of the senior leadership team, Rick’s exceptional leadership, ability to provide sound advice, and in-depth understanding of municipal government are qualities that have made him such a valuable colleague and mentor.

It should be noted that Rick’s contributions extend beyond the City. Rick has been active in the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO) for decades, winning the AMCTO Prestige Award in 2006 for outstanding individual contributions to the municipal sector at large. Widely regarded as an expert in municipal conflict of interest, Rick served as a panelist in the Good Government portion of the Bellamy Inquiry, drawing on his past experiences serving on the Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s Conflict of Interest Task Force, and the Provincial-Local Government Working Group’s “Report on Open Local Government”, among others.

Please join me in thanking Rick for his dedication to the City of Ottawa, for his contributions to open government in the province, and congratulating him as he prepares for this next chapter.

I am pleased to announce that David White, City Solicitor, will serve as Interim City Clerk effective September 1. David is a seasoned leader with 29 years of service at the City. He is currently a member of the senior leadership team and will continue to serve in his current role as City Solicitor in addition to Interim City Clerk. An executive recruitment process for the City Clerk position will be launched and an update will be provided to Council.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.

Sincerely,

Wendy Stephanson
Interim City Manager

cc: Senior Leadership Team
Extended Senior Leadership Team
Nathalie Gougeon, Auditor General
Sonia Bebbington, Ottawa Public Library
Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa Public Health
Chief Eric Stubbs, Ottawa Police Services

Memo: Succession Plan Update: Associate Director Program’s Second Cohort (September 25, 2023)

To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Wendy Stephanson
Subject: Succession Plan Update: Associate Director Program’s Second Cohort
Date: September 25, 2023

The purpose of this memo is to announce the second cohort of the City of Ottawa’s Associate Director (AD) Program who will begin their year-long development placements effective October 9, 2023.

The senior leadership team (SLT) has invested significantly over the past several years in building a robust succession plan and talent management strategy to ensure the long-term success of the organization. Originally launched in March 2022, the AD program provides experiential learning opportunities to City staff and is a key part of the City’s succession management strategy which aims to retain talent from within, stabilize the workforce and prepare for the future in the face of continued retirements at leadership levels.

A call for applications for the 2023-2024 AD program was launched in April, and the successful candidates are as follows:

  • Jason Barney, Manager, Applications, will assume the role of Associate Chief Information Officer, in Finance and Corporate Services, under the leadership of Sandro Carlucci.
  • Tyler Hicks, Manager, Design and Construction (ROPEC Project), will assume the role of Associate Director, Water Linear and Customer Services, in Infrastructure and Water Services, under the leadership of Marilyn Journeaux.
  • Krista Tanaka, Manager, Traffic Safety and Mobility, will assume the role of Associate Director, Traffic Services, in Public Works, under the leadership of Philippe Landry.
  • Rami El Feghali, Manager, Customer Service, will assume the role of Associate Director, Transit Bus Operations and Maintenance, in Transit Services, under the leadership of Jim Greer.

Succession planning continues to be a key strategic priority for SLT to ensure potential successors are equipped with the leadership skills and capabilities required to compete for new career opportunities as they arise. SLT remains committed to the growth and development of our workforce and appreciates your continued support on these important initiatives.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.

Wendy Stephanson
City Manager

cc: Senior Leadership Team
Extended Senior Leadership Team
Nathalie Gougeon, Auditor General
Bryce Conrad, Hydro Ottawa
Sonia Bebbington, Ottawa Public Library
Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa Public Health
Chief Eric Stubbs, Ottawa Police Service

Memo: Recruitment of General Manager, Community and Social Services Department (April 17, 2023)

To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Wendy Stephanson
Date: April 17, 2023

The purpose of this memo is to inform you that the City launched an executive search for a new General Manager (GM) of the Community and Social Services Department (CSSD) on Friday, April 14, 2023, which will remain open until May 15, 2023. The executive search for this position follows the retirement of the former GM, Donna Gray, on March 31, 2023.

The GM of CSSD position is being advertised with municipal and planning organizations, the Odgers Berndtson Canada network, and various publications and platforms including Municipal World, LinkedIn, and the Aboriginal Job Board. The goal is to find an exceptional leader with significant community and social services experience to continue to provide and advance equitable and inclusive human and social services that respond to the needs of the people in Ottawa.

Clara Freire will continue to serve as the Interim GM of CSSD during this period of transition, and the Mayor and Members of Council will be advised on the outcome of the recruitment process once it is complete.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.

Sincerely,

Wendy Stephanson
Interim City Manager

cc: Senior Leadership Team
Extended Senior Leadership Team
Nathalie Gougeon, Auditor General
Sonia Bebbington, Ottawa Public Library
Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa Public Health
Chief Eric Stubbs, Ottawa Police Services

Memo: Interim General Manager, Community and Social Services Department (February 23, 2023)

To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Wendy Stephanson, Interim City Manager
Date: February 23, 2023

The purpose of this memo is to inform you that Clara Freire will serve as Interim General Manager (GM) of the Community and Social Services Department (CSSD), effective March 31, 2023, to align with Donna Gray’s retirement.

Clara is a seasoned municipal leader with 21 years of service with the City of Ottawa. She has served in several leadership roles during this time including most recently as Director of Employment and Social Services (ESS). As Director of ESS, Clara has effectively led a large team of dedicated City staff to deliver timely and accessible employment and financial assistance to residents in need, most notably during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to her role as Director of ESS, Clara served as Manager of Partner and Stakeholder Initiatives where she collaborated with internal and community partners to lead various corporate-wide strategic initiatives, including the Municipal Immigration Strategy, Older Adult Plan, Women and Gender Equity Strategy, the Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan, Community Funding Framework Review, and Youth Futures. In March 2020, Clara led the City’s COVID-19 Human Needs Task Force that worked tirelessly to respond to the immediate and long-term needs of our community, including food security, homelessness and sheltering, and outreach and social services.

Clara is a familiar face in the organization and a dedicated leader who brings a true passion and commitment to resident and community service. She is fluently bilingual in both official languages, speaks Portuguese, has a Master’s Degree in Social Work and is currently completing the Telfer Executive Leadership Development Program. Clara’s in-depth knowledge, expertise and strong, collaborative relationships across the organization and social services sector will serve her well as Interim GM.

During the next month, Clara will work closely with Donna to ensure a seamless leadership transition and the continued success of the Community and Social Services team. An executive recruitment process for the GM of CSSD will be launched and an update will be provided to Council.

Please join me in congratulating Clara as she prepares to step into the Interim GM role on March 31.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.

Sincerely,
Wendy Stephanson
Interim City Manager

cc: Senior Leadership Team
Extended Senior Leadership Team
Nathalie Gougeon, Auditor General
Sonia Bebbington, Ottawa Public Library
Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa Public Health
Chief Eric Stubbs, Ottawa Police Services

Memo: Retirement - Donna Gray, General Manager of Community and Social Services (February 16, 2023)

To: Mayor and Members of Council
From: Wendy Stephanson, Interim City Manager
Date: February 16, 2023

The purpose of this memo is to inform you that Donna Gray, General Manager of the Community and Social Services Department (CSSD), will be retiring effective March 31, 2023.

Donna has dedicated 35 years of municipal public service to the City of Ottawa. During her tenure, she has served in many leadership roles including Director of Organizational Development and Performance and General Manager of Service Innovation and Performance where she advanced the organization’s culture transformation agenda including client relationship management, employee engagement, service delivery innovation and service excellence.

In her role as General Manager of CSSD, she worked tirelessly to transform and improve the supports and services available for our community’s most vulnerable and strengthened relationships and partnerships across the social services sector. Donna has made a positive impact on our city by working together with community agencies, institutions, elected officials and City staff to help solve complex social issues and deliver on key community priorities during one of the most unprecedented times for our City with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Donna will be greatly missed by her CSSD team for her deep commitment to servant leadership, prioritizing her people, championing diversity and inclusion, and fostering a strong culture of collaboration. Donna has been an invaluable member of the senior leadership team, and she will be missed for her steadfast guidance, foresight and strategic input.

A formal recognition to celebrate Donna’s tremendous accomplishments and contributions will take place at Council in March. Please join me in thanking Donna for her dedication to the City of Ottawa and wishing her well as she prepares for the next chapter.

The interim acting GM of CSSD will be announced in the coming days to ensure a smooth transition before Donna’s departure at the end of March, and an executive search for this position will follow.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.

Sincerely,
Wendy Stephanson
Interim City Manager

cc: Senior Leadership Team
Extended Senior Leadership Team
Nathalie Gougeon, Auditor General
Sonia Bebbington, Ottawa Public Library
Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa Public Health
Chief Eric Stubbs, Ottawa Police Services