Calgary’s city council has hired a new city manager.
David Duckworth was selected after an international search and replaces Jeff Fielding, who left in April to take a job with the City of Toronto and to be closer to family.
Fielding had been Calgary’s city manager since 2014, just before the city started to see the impacts of struggling oil prices and shortly after the devastating flood of 2013.
Duckworth is currently the City of Calgary’s general manager of utilities and environmental protection, a job he has held since March 2018.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi said Duckworth came out on top of a long list of candidates.
“He loves public service, he loves cities and he understands the role of a city in making the community better,” the mayor said. “He brings that incredible education and management and leadership experience, but never forgetting that vision that we have on every wall in the city that we’ve only got one job and our job is to make life better every day.”
The decision to hire Duckworth was ratified during a closed-door meeting earlier this week but the name was not made public until an employment agreement was signed with the City of Calgary.
Duckworth has worked for several municipalities in British Columbia, including Vancouver and said that experience will help him in his new role in Calgary.
“The tax shift issue has been an issue in the city of Vancouver for a very, very long time back to the ’90s when I worked there,” the new city manager said.
Last week, $60 million in budget cuts were approved by council to lessen the soaring property taxes faced by non-residential ratepayers.
“The City of Calgary is going to come out of this stronger. We’ve got incredible staff that work for the City of Calgary and I have no doubt the challenges we have ahead of us are opportunities and Calgary is going to come out stronger,” Duckworth said.
Duckworth assumes his new role August 30.