General manager walks the plank – but no one pushes him into the water. This is good news?



By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  April 17, 2013.   Scott Stewart, one of the toughest General Manager’s this city has seen in some time uses his smile and basically decent demeanour to get things done. But if that doesn’t work – well, Stewart came to us from Hamilton where he acquired certain skills.  Let’s just leave it at that.

Earlier this week Stewart, who now heads up what is referred to as D+I, which is the short form for Development and Infrastructure Committee – the place where all the hard work gets done.  All the paper bound tasks; legal, Human Resources, Information Technology and Finance got shifted over to  City Manager Jeff Fielding.

That realignment didn’t leave much for Kim Phillips to do and perhaps we will see some changes in that portfolio somewhere down the road.

Stewart, who drives hard and is remarkably responsive, brought a small report to council committee where he talked about how he feels his people have done and asked council to respond.  Stewart sat there with most of his Directors but they didn’t get to say a word.  Stewart was the mouthpiece.

Do you want more of this and less of that?  Are we delivering on the deliverables?

He came to us from Hamilton – that’s as much as anyone needs to know about General Manager Scott Stewart.

This is the first time we have seen anyone at the General Manager or Director level for that matter put himself on the hot seat – but I guess when you’re on the province’s Sunshine list you can do things like that.

The IKEA matter came back to council four times – and that was good – thought most council members; but the Tim Horton’s desire to be on Brant Street in the old Blockbuster location came back to council too often.

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2 comments to General manager walks the plank – but no one pushes him into the water. This is good news?

  • Rob Narejko

    Very good information on how the City runs. We have some very capable, thoughtful people working for us.

    Interesting that some Councillors do not know about the strategic plan or how it was created – they did sign off on it:

    The City has a strategic plan, but the political will to enact it is not there. From what I have seen from a few Councillors, the plan is to do what it is the best interest of a select few (in their ward) vs doing what is best for the City as a whole. I know that is the way to get re-elected, so I can’t say that I can fault them. But progress suffers and it will show in the future viability of the City – what businesses are attracted to locate here and what businesses decide to remain here.

    The question is how do you move forward when so many people want the status quo? Leadership comes to mind. People will follow a leader and most people say they want strong leadership – until it comes to their back yard. The leader(s) needs to convince them of the over-all benefits to the City and ‘what’s in it for me’.

    After 10 days with a consultant and no answer for a BHAG? That is a less than desirable outcome. Sounds like expectations were mismanaged. A City is very complex in meeting the needs of its people. To define ONE thing would be impossible.

    As for the BHAG: Quality of life, which means:
    – liveable, walkable neighbourhoods
    – green space / recreation facilities
    – community ‘fabric’ – events that pull the community together and engage them
    – respect for individuality

    Agreed – Economic Development Commission – very big topic. Needs to be front and centre.

  • J Marshall

    Check your facts. I understand that Mr. Stewart came to
    Burlington from a similar post in London, Ontario.
    Burlington is better off without any “cast offs” from
    the City of Hamilton.
    Editors note: No Sir the FACT is Scott Stewart did come to Burlington from Hamilton. The city manager Jeff Fielding came to us from London, Ontario