Economic development corporation getting new leadership – Benham shown the door All Hallows Eve.

November 4, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  October 31st – was not a trick, nor was it a treat for the Executive Director of the Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) – he was relieved of his keys and his access to the city`s information systems and informed that he was being relieved of his duties immediately.

Kyle Benham has served as the Executive Director of the BEDC for a number of years.  He came to Burlington in 2008 from Toronto`s economic development corporation and brought some people with him.

Kyle Benham, former Executive Director of Burlington’s Economic Development Corporation

Benham and the city were never a good fit.  The city has not brought in anything significant in terms of new business and has seen a number of major organizations move to what they felt were greener pastures.

There are a number of situations that were being handled by the BEDC, the IKEA file being one that has been badly managed.  A replacement has not been announced.

Changes were also made to the BEDC board of directors which is far too large and has a number of organizations that hold seats to protect their interests rather than advance those of the city.

Economic development has been a major blot of the city`s copy book.  It may take as much as a year to find the person the city needs to get that train moving. Then there will have to be changes to the department and a strategy put in place.

Will the city keep economic development as a standalone arm’s length operation or will that work be brought in-house and if it is brought in-house which General Manager will oversee the work.  These decisions have probably been made – it will just take some time for the city to make an announcement.

The decision to remove Benham was the first necessary step.  The only reasonable comment is that it took them long enough.

Now that board has to pull itself together, work hard as a team and begin to make up for the lost time.

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1 comment to Economic development corporation getting new leadership – Benham shown the door All Hallows Eve.

  • Frankie V. Kerr

    Good start. Looks like this new city manager Fielding is getting his team re-structured. Too bad Fielding cant do the same with a few of the current members of council, like Taylor, who is an excellent example for why this city needs term limits for politicians.