A major shakeup has been announced at the City of London.
Veronica McAlea Major, the former head of human resources with the city, has been let go and will be replaced by the former director of parks and recreation, Bill Coxhead.
McAlea Major’s relationship with some unions representing city hall workers had crumbled — especially in the wake of the CUPE Local 101 strike in the summer of 2015.
“We want to build on some of the positive aspects of where we come from and move forward in a way that looks at utilizing the resources we have in the corporation,” city manager Martin Hayward told AM980 in an interview discussing the change.
He declined to comment when asked to discuss potential severance payments for McAlea Major, but did confirm she is “no longer with the corporation.”
Coun. Tanya Park was also unable to provide any information about why the change took place but said she looks forward to seeing what kind of positive changes can happen corporation-wide in the future.
“I have a lot of support for the decision that our city manager made with the replacement in the human resources position,” Park told AM980.
“During my time working with Mr. Coxhead, I’ve found him to be a very compassionate and also inspiring leader to his staff and I’ve heard that from his staff point blank.”
Coxhead officially takes over the position on July 26.
Art Zuidema out as London city manager
McAlea Major is the latest senior leadership team member to depart. Back in February, Art Zuidema was let go as city manager following a tumultuous tenure.
City hall’s inside workers accused Zuidema of bad-faith bargaining during their 2015 labour dispute.
Zuidema has also been criticized for being difficult to deal with by the media and was criticized for redacting much of the draft business case for London’s rapid transit plan, a move he defended, though the document was later made public in its entirety.
Some councillors also clashed with Zuidema. Ward 7 Coun. Josh Morgan butted heads with him over whether council or bureaucrats possessed the authority to hire top staff, and Tanya Park quit the Zuidema-chaired community economic road map panel, calling it ineffectual.
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