Title: General Manager, Planning & Development
Areas of focus: As General Manager of Planning & Development, Stuart oversees four business units including Calgary Growth Strategies, Calgary Approvals Coordination, Community Planning, and Calgary Building Services. Calgary’s vision for continuing to build a great city is supported by applying exceptional urban planning direction, in both developing and re-developing areas. The Planning & Development Department serves many customers – from developers to builders to homeowners – and works with multiple partners, all with a view to building a sustainable city, while serving citizen and community needs – today, and into the future.
Career history: Stuart holds a finance-based Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, and an Advanced Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration. He is also a Certified Professional Accountant and an Accredited Assessor with the Alberta Assessors’ Association and the International Association of Assessing Officers.
Stuart joined The City in 1988 as an intern, and then worked at the Workers’ Compensation Board, before returning to The City in 1990. Stuart held a number of City roles over the next few years, eventually leading to managerial, director and general manager responsibilities. In 2008, Stuart assumed the Assessment director and city assessor role, was Acting General Manager of Planning, Development & Assessment in 2012, and appointed Director of Development & Building Approvals later that year. In 2013, Stuart assumed the role of Community Services General Manager, providing leadership to eight community-based service functions and a 3,500 full-time equivalent staff complement.
Stuart has made several important contributions during his career with The City. Examples include the initial development and implementation of The City of Calgary’s multi-year business planning and budgeting system adopted by Council for the 2006-2008 business cycle. Stuart also lead the work toward Council’s 2012 decision to transition from Calgary’s use of the business tax, and in 2014 led Community Services in developing a 2015-2018 business plan and budget that featured innovation and efficiency, balanced investment among eight major program and service areas, a $1.3 billion capital plan, and annual operating budgets exceeding $650 million. More recently, Stuart undertook a review that yielded a new “modern government” direction for Community Services, featuring an integrated geographic service delivery model, efficiencies in delivering both front-line and enabling services, and a “citizen, customer and community first” approach.
Leadership philosophy: Stuart believes in providing clear vision and direction, coupled with a view that municipal government outcomes are always better if we work together effectively toward shared goals. Pride in public service is a cornerstone, and citizens, customers and communities are the focal points of all we do. Taking the time to listen, ask questions, and be flexible about courses of action, are part of getting to improved outcomes. Government works better, and strategy and new directions can be implemented more efficiently and promptly, when sound business practices, continuous improvement, and accountability are established business model foundations. Individual staff members and teams will thrive and be more engaged if they can connect their work to the customer and citizen, and through this experience the satisfaction that comes with knowing the impact of their contributions. The effectiveness of any business function will be enhanced and improved by adopting an environment and culture that includes character, commitment, competence and collaboration.