St. John’s ends city manager’s contract

Daniel MacEachern dmaceachern@thetelegram.com
Published on April 1, 2014
Former St. John’s city manager Bob Smart speaks to reporters in this Telegram file photo. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

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.

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

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(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

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(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.