City Hall Leadership Changes

2015 Head planner, city manager leave city hall; leadership changes in the engineering and community services departments

Description
Brian Jackson, general manager of planning and development, retires in November and city manager Penny Ballem is leaves in September. Peter Judd, general manager of engineering, retires and is replaced by transportation director Jerry Dobrovolny. Brenda Prosken, general manager of community services, also leaves. Her successor, Kathleen Llewellyn-Thomas, is announced in December.

Significance
Jackson’s departure was seen as an opportunity for a fresh start to a new approach to city planning and Ballem’s dismissal was said to reflect community criticism of the way council handled public engagement.

Background
Jackson was Vancouver’s head planner for only three years. His tenure was marked by resident opposition to proposals in the new Grandview Woodland plan and some proposed tower developments. In a speech before leaving, he is critical of “haters” in the community and former city planners who had spoken out on various issues.
Ballem was appointed city manager during Vision Vancouver’s first term as a council majority in 2008. She had been credited for her handling of problems associated with the Olympic Village development but was criticized for being a micro-manager.