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Second senior manager leaves city

St. Albert’s city administration has gone through another reorganization, the second one within the past year, with another senior manager leaving the city.

St. Albert’s city administration has gone through another reorganization, the second one within the past year, with another senior manager leaving the city.

City manager Kevin Scoble confirmed this week that Maya Pungur-Buick, who headed up the corporate and strategic services division, left the organization as of Tuesday, May 2.

The move comes a day after development services manager Gilles Prefontaine left a job with the city. The moves coincide with a shuffle at the top of the organization, which reduces the number of senior managers from four to three.

Scoble would not comment on Pungur-Buick’s departure, as it’s a personnel matter. He said the goal of the reorganization is to make sure related departments are all working more closely together in a more logical way to deliver services and promote accountability.

“We’re stabilizing the organization in a more traditional structure,” he said. “It’s innovative where it needs to be, but also traditional where it needs it.”

Specifically, he said some of the departments that traditionally work very closely together had diverged and been placed in different divisions, which he said this reorganization rectifies.

All department directors will answer now to three senior managers: Glenn Tompolski in the infrastructure and development services division; the newly hired Dale Bendfeld will take over community protective services June 5; and human resources director Michelle Bonnici, who will be acting general manager of the corporate services division. Scoble said he himself would act as community protective services manager until Bendfeld starts.

Each manager will have six department directors reporting to them, while the heads of the legislative services, legal services and human resources departments will report directly to the city manager.

The city has been without a permanent manager of protective services since former manager Chris Jardine retired in January. Jardine had also served as interim city manager after council voted to terminate Patrick Draper’s contract in May 2016.

In terms of replacing Pungur-Buick, Scoble said Bonnici will serve in that role until a public recruitment process can take place.

Mayor Nolan Crouse wouldn’t comment on specific personnel issues. Crouse said Scoble was hired to make these sorts of personnel decisions and he respects his right to do so.

“He’s the city manager and doesn’t have any obligation to get our approval and our support,” he said. “He has to do those things as part of his job.”

This shuffle represents the second major reorganization at the city within the past year, with the last one taking place last fall.

Jardine made some significant adjustments to the structure when he was in charge, including moving from having six general-manager positions to having just four; finance and assessment and economic development were reincorporated under other divisions.

He said his goal was to arrange the organization so that when the new city manager came in, he or she would have had a skinnier, more streamlined organization to deal with.

“I figured if I don’t do this now and put it together in a logical format, the new person coming in, they’re probably going to take a year or 16 months before they get a feel for things,” Jardine said at the time.