High level manager let go, senior staffer's termination recommended at Nanaimo City Hall

By Dominic Abassi
December 1, 2017 - 3:35pm Updated: December 1, 2017 - 9:32pm

Spencer Sterritt/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — A senior staffer at the City of Nanaimo has been recommended for termination, while another high-level manager has been let go, NanaimoNewsNOW has learned.

Manager of sanitation, recycling and public works administration Charlotte Davis was let go late this week. In an email, director of human resources John Van Horne confirmed Davis is no longer with the City.

"As it is a personnel matter, we won’t be making any further comment," Van Horne said.

Two sources familiar with the situation also confirmed the chief administrative officer has recommended the termination of chief operations officer Brad McRae. Both spoke on condition of anonymity but said McRae confirmed the news to them directly.

Van Horne has yet to respond to direct questions about McRae's status.

Because McRae is an officer of the City, the issue will go before Council for a hearing. A Council vote is required to uphold the CAO's recommendation.

The departure of Davis comes barely a week after it was revealed the roll out of Nanaimo's automated garbage collection cost nearly $450,000 more than expected. The information was presented to council at a committee meeting after coun. Bill Bestwick called for information on the roll out. McRae and Davis helped author the report.

In September, Davis received the 2017 Women's Ambassador Award by the Public Works Association of BC at their annual conference.

"Throughout her tenure, Charlotte has demonstrated a strong commitment and passion to her work, and is a high performing employee. I am proud of her accomplishment and leadership to her team, Public works and the City of Nanaimo," CAO Tracy Samra said in a City news release.

In October 2016, McRae was plucked from the District of Lantzville, where he was serving as CAO, to take on a newly created role as chief operations officer with the City. When bylaw manager Rod Davidson was let go in September of this year, the City said a reorganization of personnel would see McRae take on public safety, police, fire, bylaw enforcement and emergency management.

Davis and possibly McRae join Davidson, director of communications Philip Cooper and chief sustainability officer Kim Fowler as notable high-ranking staffers let go this year. 

A graphic presented to Council in October by Van Horne showed there were no managers dismissed from the City between 2006 and 2016. There have been at least five in 2017. The same graphic said up until that point, 27 management level staff had left for a variety of reasons since 2015.

However, data previously provided by the City indicated that number was at least 35.

In a Nov. 23 release referencing changes to the way the City manages projects, CAO Samra said "I trust in the work of senior management."

Mayor and council was contacted for comment but have yet to reply.


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On Twitter: @domabassi

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. Clarifies the process for terminating an officer of the city.

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