Penny Ballem has been let go from her position as City Manager, according to a statement released from the City of Vancouver.
They have now initiated a world-wide search for the next City Manager. The decision was a joint vote between Mayor Gregor Robertson and city council. Ballem will receive a hefty severance of $556,000.
“Dr. Penny Ballem has been an exceptional City Manager, driving transformative change across the organization over the past seven years and demonstrating outstanding commitment to the City of Vancouver and all of its residents,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson in the release.
“As we look toward making continued progress on Vancouver’s most significant priorities, Council has decided that our city’s toughest challenges will benefit from a new approach and a fresh perspective.”
Deputy City Manager Sadhu Johnston will be acting as interim City Manager while they start the international hunt to fill Ballem’s position.
“On behalf of my colleagues on City Council and everyone at City Hall, I want to thank Dr. Ballem for her extraordinary service to Vancouver and the lasting contributions she has made to the future of this city,” said Mayor Robertson.
Judy Rogers was Ballem’s predecessor, serving as City Manager from 1999 until 2008. Her severance was $572,000.
City Councillor George Affleck was critical of the move in a tweet, saying it’s “not good government.”
Vision and Mayor now controlling a city with 4 permanent sr management positions empty. That’s not good government. #vanpoli
— George Affleck (@george_affleck) September 15, 2015