Regina city manager Chris Holden dismissed following special council meeting vote

The City of Regina has relieved city manager Chris Holden of his duties following a vote between members of city council on Tuesday. Sean Lerat / Global News

The City of Regina has relieved city manager Chris Holden of his duties.

The announcement came during a special council meeting late Monday afternoon aimed at discussing long-term resource planning.

Council voted 7-1 in favour of terminating Holden’s existing contract. Andrew Stevens was the only councillor who voted against the decision.

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Mayor Sandra Masters thanked Holden for his dedication and valued service to the community in a news release Monday evening.

“He is a city builder and has made a significant impact on Regina. We value his commitment to public service. Under Chris’ leadership, significant civic infrastructure projects were developed including the Mâmawêyatitân centre, Co-operators Centre, International Trade Centre and Leibel Field,” said Masters.

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“These key community spaces create significant social impact and have positively transformed Regina today and for many years to come.”

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City clerk Jim Nichol has been named interim city manager. Nichol has been with the city since 2007 after two decades with the provincial government.

Amber Ackerman, the current deputy city clerk, will take on the role of acting city clerk for council.

The city says they anticipate the search for Holden’s replacement will take anywhere from six to nine months.

Masters noted that it was a “strategic decision” to bring in a new city manager with major initiatives underway and on the horizon.

She said with Holden’s contract expiring in March of 2024, council wanted to avoid starting the change process only to interrupt the process with a new candidate with less time to prepare for the position’s tasks.

“To have someone come in a year from now or a year and a half from now puts them a little bit behind,” Masters said. “We felt new leadership was needed now in order to carry those initiatives forward.”

“It’s a better decision for what we are trying to achieve.”

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Holden held the position of city manager since 2016.

Global News reached out to Holden for comment, but has indicated that he will not be providing any response at this time.

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