NEWSMAKERS: Swabey begins tenure with shakeup

NANAIMO – City manager Ted Swabey chosen as one of the News Bulletin's newsmakers of 2013.

Ted Swabey took over as city manager in Nanaimo and brought in sweeping changes within his first four months on the job.

Within four months of taking  the helm at city hall, Nanaimo’s new top bureaucrat has steered the municipality into a major shakeup, a new budget process and governance changes. It’s why Ted Swabey has cracked this year’s top five most notable people.

Swabey took over as the manager of the city’s 650 employees in September after advancing through the ranks of city hall for the past 23 years. He was promoted from general manager of community safety and development when longtime bureaucrat Al Kenning retired earlier in the year.

Within two days of stepping into the new position, he helped introduce city council to a new approach to budgeting that allowed politicians greater scrutiny of service levels and spending early on in the financial planning process. He also announced plans to invest time into building relationships, change public perceptions around who’s in charge and potentially restructure city hall. His appointment had come on the heels of criticism that senior management had more power than council and a review that flagged negative internal issues as undermining attempts at good governance.

Fast-forward four months and the city is in the midst of a major shuffle, which is expected to wrap up this January. The move, which included two buyouts, department mergers and cuts to seven high-level positions, is aimed at cutting costs by $1 million each year and hitting the “reset button” on how the organization met the needs of the community and council, according to Swabey.

The manager has also been involved in the release of in camera information, which started this month and remains a recommendation of a recent governance review. Swabey ends the year with a mandate from council on priorities for other governance changes.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Military police motorcycle relay roars through Nanaimo

National fundraising ride visited Mt. Benson legion en route to Lantzville and Campbell River

Wildfire southwest of Nanaimo now largely under control

Crews have been on the scene since Friday

Island Health warning of spike in overdoses in Nanaimo area

Substance users advised to visit overdose prevention site on Wesley Street in Nanaimo

Beefs & Bouquets, Aug. 5

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Reuse Rendezvous invites Nanaimo residents to get rid of items that others might want

Annual city-wide swap meet happens Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 8-9

B.C. doctors, dentists call on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

‘We all have anxieties’: B.C.’s top doctor addresses return-to-school fears amid COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry promises school restart plan safe for B.C. kids

Stock the Lockers drive for vulnerable students in Nanaimo begins

Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation exec says students need support leading up to fall semester

Peace ceremony in Nanaimo will be a little different in a pandemic

Hiroshima Day will be observed during the afternoon Aug. 6 at Maffeo Sutton Park

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

Most Read