The top bureaucrat at the City of Calgary is creating a new job to improve the focus on service delivery and to give himself room to dedicate more attention to other parts of his job.
David Duckworth is also changing his job title.
He's creating a new chief operating officer (COO) position. That job will be filled by Stuart Dalgleish, who is currently the general manager of planning and development services.
Duckworth said, as COO, Dalgleish will oversee four public-facing city departments including planning, infrastructure, operational services and community services.
"Local government has changed so much in the last few years, even after the pandemic. The expectation of citizens and businesses continues to grow," said Duckworth, who is city manager.
City manager David Duckworth will ask city council to formally approve his decision to now be known as the city's chief administrative officer. The city is also creating a new chief operating officer position. (Mike Symington/CBC)
By having a COO oversee the key departments, Duckworth said that will lift work from his office. It will allow him to focus more of his attention on things that were often squeezed by operational issues that pop up almost on a daily basis.
It means he can spend more time working with key stakeholders for the city.
"Whether it's businesses, community associations. We need to not just be looking down and in the organization but kind of up and out, out to citizens and our businesses. So that's what I'm going to be able to spend a little bit more time on."
The city's first chief operating officer will be Stuart Dalgleish, currently the general manager of planning and development services. (City of Calgary)
As well, Duckworth said he hopes to have more time to focus on the organization's culture, vision, and his relationship with city council.
Starting Oct. 1, Dalgleish will report directly to Duckworth. Dalgleish's GM position will be filled on an acting basis by Debra Hamilton, currently the director of community planning and head of the Calgary Planning Commission, until a permanent replacement is hired.
Duckworth said there will be no change in Dalgleish's current rate of pay once he assumes the COO role.
Mayor Jyoti Gondek said city council doesn't weigh in on operating decisions as Duckworth is ultimately in charge of the bureaucracy.
But she's supportive of the change which should result in greater focus on the both the strategic and operating sides of the city's organization.
"I think it's a really sound decision. We work with both of these individuals now and we'll continue to work with them."
Duckworth is also making a small change in his title in October.
He will ask city council to formally approve his decision to now be known as the city's chief administrative officer (CAO). That conforms with the position's legal name in the Municipal Government Act and also aligns him with his counterparts in other Alberta municipalities as well as elsewhere in the country.
Duckworth was appointed to the top post at the city in August 2019.