GUELPH POLITICAST #218 – COVID Administrative Officer

From time to time, the Guelph Politicast likes to do a sit down with a member of City of Guelph staff to talk about their job in detail with all its day-to-day demands, challenges and rewards. This podcast is in the mode of one of those past explainers, but with a COVID-19 twist because what is possibly affecting City business more these days than the global pandemic?

The subject of this week’s podcast is Chief Administrative Officer Scott Stewart. Stewart hasn’t even held the top job in the City’s administration for a full year yet, but he’s now marshaling the response to what may be the most challenging of circumstances that someone in his position has ever faced. COVID-19 has forced all levels of government to practically drop everything else in order to respond. Guelph is no exception, and everything that the City is doing crosses the desk in the CAO’s office at some point.

You may recognize Stewart as the guy who literally sits on the right hand of Mayor Cam Guthrie in regular order council meetings, but he’s probably the person in local government with the most influence right after the mayor. The CAO is the only member of Guelph staff that is directly hired and supervised by council itself, and they often serve as an intermediary between the experts on staff, and the political direction of council. The job requires a certain mastery of all portfolios and departments at the City, but could anything prepare Stewart for responding to COVID-19?

That’s one of the questions put to Scott Stewart on this week’s podcast, and he will also talk about how his job has changed with the demands of combating COVID-19. He also discusses the co-ordination between Guelph and its neighbouring municipalities, how the City is able to navigate directives from higher levels of government, and how much of the City’s reaction to COVID-19 is proactive versus reactive. Finally, he also talks about how much of the regular business of City Hall is proceeding despite COVID-19, and the most pressing problem that staff is facing at the moment.

So let’s talk about how the COVID response is running through the CAO’s office on this week’s edition of the Guelph Politicast!

For all the latest information about the City of Guelph’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, just go to the City’s website, and click on the red banner at the top of the screen. You can also stay tuned to this website.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here, or download them on your favourite podcast app at iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify.

Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.

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