St. John’s ends city manager’s contract

Daniel
Daniel MacEachern
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St. John’s will not be extending the contract of city manager Bob Smart, the city announced this morning.

Former St. John’s city manager Bob Smart speaks to reporters in this Telegram file photo. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

“Effective immediately deputy city manager Neil Martin will be the acting city manager and we will begin a recruitment process shortly,” reads the press release from city spokeswoman Jennifer Mills. Mills added, in the press release, “I wish to thank Mr. Smart for his service to the City of St. John’s and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

No reason was given by the city as to why it would not be renewing Smart’s contract.

A statement released by Smart late Tuesday morning said he decided not to exercise a two-year renewal option on his three-year contract, which was due to expire mid-April. Smart joined the city in April 2011 after three decades with the provincial government.

“I have enjoyed my time at City Hall and do feel I have made a meaningful contribution to our great city,” said Smart in his statement. He cited the city’s move to a three-year budget cycle and implementation of a $300-million infrastructure renewal strategy as highlights.

“There is a great team of employees at the city, under the capable leadership of Mayor [Dennis] O’Keefe,” added Smart in his statement, who declined an interview request from the Telegram.

Smart was the driving force behind a controversial city hall restructuring last year that cost the city $600,000 and prompted the resignation of at least one senior employee. Then-councillor Sheilagh O’Leary expressed concerns over staff morale, but Smart said any organization that employs 1,200 people will have some concerns about change.

"I wouldn't be naive enough to think there is no dissatisfaction or discontent at city hall, but the suggestion there is widespread and deep-seated morale problems, in my view, is highly and grossly exaggerated,” said Smart last August.

dmaceachern@thetelegram.com, Twitter: @TelegramDaniel

•••

(Earlier story)

St. John’s will not be extending the contract of city manager Bob Smart, the city announced this morning.

“Effective immediately deputy city manager Neil Martin will be the acting city manager and we will begin a recruitment process shortly,” reads the press release from city spokeswoman Jennifer Mills. Mills added, in the press release, “I wish to thank Mr. Smart for his service to the City of St. John’s and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

No reason was given by the city as to why it would not be renewing Smart’s contract.

Smart was the driving force behind a controversial city hall restructuring last year that cost the city $600,000 and prompted the resignation of at least one senior employee. Then-councillor Sheilagh O’Leary expressed concerns over staff morale, but Smart said any organization that employs 1,200 people will have some concerns about change.

"I wouldn't be naive enough to think there is no dissatisfaction or discontent at city hall, but the suggestion there is widespread and deep-seated morale problems, in my view, is highly and grossly exaggerated,” said Smart last August.

 

dmaceachern@thetelegram.com, Twitter: @TelegramDaniel

•••

(Earlier story)

Robert Smart no longer St. John’s city manager

The City of St. John’s announced this morning that city manager Robert Smart's contract will not be renewed.

A news release says, effective immediately, deputy city manager Neil Martin will be the acting city manager and a recruitment process shortly.

 

 

 

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Recent comments

  • violet
    April 02, 2014 - 21:32

    just another person crossed off the list...another member of city hall who would NEVER return a tax payers call...good bye ...a few more down there have to get ousted and a REVIEW DONE OF THE WHOLE SYSTEM...People of the city trying to make a living and SOME MEMBERS OF COUNCIL holding them back ...SHAME ON YOU ALL,,,they treat people different a pass of land for so and so but Nope Not for someone else...so the $100,000 should go into an inquiry of the going ons inside the walls of city hall....so sick of their crap...

  • Guy Incognito
    April 01, 2014 - 14:19

    Looks like more trouble at city hall. I bet morale is better today now that this guy has been canned...I like how he took the Dunderdale exit....pretend he quit on his own terms and quietly exit stage left... Now if we could only get "Snow Bank" O'Keefe and some of his fossil friends to follow suit....

  • Jay
    April 01, 2014 - 13:09

    He shouldn't have been hired in the first place. Andy Wells increased the mayor's salary based upon the argument that the mayor would also be the city manager O'Keefe got elected, kept the salary, and then hired a city manager. O'Keefe then approved a communications department. Now he won't respond to the people who elected him. But, we'll continue to elect the idiot.

  • Ryan
    April 01, 2014 - 10:43

    Up next on the chopping block should be paul mackey

    • Dolf
      April 01, 2014 - 21:16

      Why Ryan? Yes, he loves a TV camera but he's the one fingered to take the heat off the useless O'Keefe.