April 19th, 2024

Council planning next steps after City Manager Dalton’s departure


By Lethbridge Herald on January 12, 2022.

Craig Dalton, speaking with reporters after he was formally appointed as City Manager in May 2020, has announced his resignation after less than two years on the job. Herald file photo

Al Beeber – Lethbridge Herald

He came to Lethbridge under challenging times with the COVID-19 pandemic hitting hard but after less than two years on the job, City Manager Craig Dalton is leaving.

“I will simply say it’s simply a life decision, those decisions that we all make from time to time and I would just leave it at that,” Dalton said Wednesday in an online meeting with Mayor Blaine Hyggen and the media.

“I’m very grateful for having been part of this team over the past year, coming up on two years. And it was not an easy decision to make but it’s just a life decision,” Dalton added.

Dalton said his decision to leave Lethbridge is “certainly one that comes with mixed emotions. I’m very grateful for having had the opportunity to be part of this organization, to meet and work with some outstanding people who work very, very hard and are dedicated and committed to their community.

Dalton “was tasked with the difficult role in guiding this organization through this pandemic and so we’re extremely grateful for his service here and look forward to wishing him the best in his next endeavour but council will be looking at hiring another city manager, obviously and we’re working on a plan that should be coming forward here in the near future. And we’ll be sharing that with the community as soon as we have further details,” said Hyggen.

In response to a question about the recent turnover in the city manager’s office, Hyggen said “we respect those decisions and it’s again a life decision and at the end of the day, the city manager is one position in the organization. We’ve got an extremely competent senior management team as well that guides this organization.”

Hyggen said while council would prefer having a city manager in place for a longer term ”having new blood is not always a terrible thing. It brings different, fresh ideas into the organization.”

“It’s been a challenge the past few years but we take that as an asset to be very honest,” the mayor said, adding “we’ll be fine.”

Hyggen had praise for Dalton in his time with the city.

“I’ve got nothing but good to say about our city manager.  . . . he’s worked so hard, diligently. I reached out to Craig quite often, it doesn’t matter what hours of the day and sometimes I’m sure he’s maybe not all too appreciative but he has done an amazing job.”

He said council initiatives since Dalton’s arrival have given the city manager some challenges “but he’s shone and come through that.

“I know that I speak on behalf of council of our respect for Craig and what he’s done for this organization,” Hyggen said.

The hiring process is being looked at right now, said Hyggen.

“We have used external, we’ve gone internal in the past and we’ll look at all these different options. We definitely want to make sure we find the best person for the job and so we’ll be looking at that over the next few weeks,” Hyggen added.

“I just want to make sure that our community knows that a top priority of this organization is to definitely serve the community. And I know I’ve been questioned quite often ‘if the city manager goes, what happens.’ Again, I can’t reiterate enough that the leadership we have in this community is second to none. I’m extremely proud of that and you know what, we will be there to serve this community going forward,” added Hyggen.

“I want to make sure there’s that level of ease that everything is fine and we will have leadership that’s needed to continue forward.”

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Guy Lethbridge

I wonder what it costs to get a new city manager every 18 months ?

Montreal13

People should be concerned about this turn-over. A good city manager is needed to control and balance department managers.

Canesfan

Based on what I’ve seen I suspect it is tied to the vocal minority of constant complainers that have never lived anywhere else, have no idea how good they have things here and yet constantly complain about the City and the administration and initiatives like recycling and organics (example in this thread). Unfortunately the much larger percentage of the population that is happy never says a thing.

Canesfan

Point proven! lol

Citi Zen

Too many screw-ups and bad decisions. Maybe now we can put our garbage bins back in the alley where they belong.
And carry on with the witch hunt at City Hall!

biff

hard to imagine the challenges trumping the king’s ransom in wages and benefits awarded to our city manager. is there a parachute attached to the resignation?