Saying goodbye is never easy, but the City of Guelph makes it look that way. Buried in a press release today about “minor changes” being made to Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise services is news that Rob Kerr, Manager of Community Energy, is no longer employed by the City.
Of course, this is not particularly surprising. Council voted last year to stop all further development of the District Energy system, and shelved all further business operations of Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. until a rationalization of holding company can be completed. Earlier this year, the City announced it had finished negotiations to cancel future contracts concerning the D.E. nodes downtown and in the Hanlon Creek Business Park. So it should come as no surprise that Kerr might now find himself out of work.
But the announcement came in the middle of a rather straightforward press release announcing that IDE has undergone “minor realignments to reflect current organizational needs and the direction set out in the Corporate Administrative Plan,” namely the creation of one new position that will look at “downtown renewal” and how the city can advance work on the downtown secondary plan, and another new position who will be a project manager overseeing the implementation of the Parking Master plan.
“Like all organizations, cities need to be responsive to changing priorities, and ensure resources are deployed where they’re most needed,” said IDE’s Deputy CAO Scott Stewart in a press release. “These adjustments are the right ones to make now to enable us to continue delivering high quality public service to citizens.”
As for Kerr, all the City says is, “The moves also reflect the City’s evolving role in community energy, which moves from a ‘community oversight’ to ‘community support’ role. In light of this, the City is saying goodbye to its former Manager of Community Energy, Rob Kerr, who has been integral to the Community Energy Initiative’s (CEI) creation and implementation. An evolving focus on the effects of climate change on municipal services and infrastructure will see the creation of a climate change office, which will be part of the Facilities Management department.”
According to the press release these “minor realignments” will have no impact on the budget.