Park Board General Manager Susan Mundick finally pulls rip cord

Post by Mike Klassen in

4 comments

Susan Mundick, right, at a Kerrisdale Olympic celebration with MLA Colin Hansen
Susan Mundick, right, at a Kerrisdale Olympic celebration with local MLA Colin Hansen

Last May CityCaucus.com reported that a senior manager in Vancouver's civil service was about to quit, when they got a case of "premature evacuation" and decided to stay on. We can now confirm that the person we were speaking about then was Park Board General Manager Sue Mundick, who has just resigned according to a report by CKNW News.

We can't blame Mundick for bailing. Whether its her hapless board, the unprecented cuts to her budget by the Vision City Council, or being nanomanaged by Mayor Robertson's hand-picked City Manager, Sue's job has just got a whole lot less fun in recent months. It doesn't help either that many of her closest colleagues have recently either quit or have been pushed out.

Expect a lot more spin from the Mayor's office that this is just business as usual to lose so many of Vancouver's top talent mere months away from the biggest event in its history.

CityCaucus.com is also hearing rumours that the Human Resources General Manager position, recently vacated by Kevin Ramsay, will be taken over by city CFO Patrice Impey. It will be interesting to see how this affects Impey's already generous compensation.

We're hearing through our sources that this is a result of the city's core review process, which recommends that senior positions be amalgamated rather than be filled. The review findings also recommend a number of layoffs, which we'll report on in more detail in the weeks to come.

UPDATE: Here is a copy of the Park Board Chair's news release issued to the media earlier today:

Park Board Chair announces retirement of General Manager Susan Mundick
September 15 , 2009

Raj Hundal, Chair of the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation announced today he has accepted a letter of retirement from General Manager Susan Mundick.

“Susan has been an incredible resource to both the Commissioners on the Board and to our staff,” said Hundal. “While we had all hoped that she would continue her executive leadership of the organization, Susan feels that now is the right time to retire, and, as always, I respect her judgement in this decision.”

Mundick joined the organization in 1998 and over the years has provided support and worked collaboratively with several successive Park Boards, Vancouver City Councils and Mayors. Offering strategic counsel to Board Commissioners, developing and directing strategic plans to revitalize aging infrastructure, identifying revenue opportunities through public/private partnerships, expanding parks and recreation programs and significantly increasing the City’s green spaces, count among Mundick’s many and varied achievements.

“Leaving a dream job is always a difficult decision,” said Mundick. “But after 11 years and with a long checklist of accomplishments of which I am very proud, I feel that leaving now is the right decision and the right time. I’m looking forward to a new adventure – but not before I support the Board through an efficient and effective transition to new leadership.”

Mundick has agreed to work with the Board to implement a smooth transition of executive leadership.

“Susan’s commitment to accountability and transparency, dynamic leadership and her ability to get the best out of our amazing staff will be sorely missed, to say nothing of her 35 years of parks and recreation experience,” said Hundal. “I’m sure I’m speaking for all our extended staff when I say we wish her the very best of luck in whatever retirement holds.”

4 Comments

Thank God she's finally gone. We need some new blood.

I heard that she was not well liked my many...thought she was a diva. Oh well, hope she's happy in her new life and now maybe council will do something about the park board!!

I think Susan Mundick's departure is a great loss for the City and Parks Board. She is a committed, experienced, bright, forward thinking Manager who is not afraid to lead. She thinks strategically but is methodical in making sure details are not pushed aside. It is virtually impossible to not feel enthusiastic when given the opportunity to work with her and understand her passion for leading in the public service. I think its important to emphasize that as with the other recent departures, she is giving up the opportunity of a lifetime to be at the helm during 2010. I wish her the best in her "retirement".

With respect to the aforementioned comment: you may 'not be an expert' but you certainly sound like one!

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