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City appoints civic department head as interim Edmonton city manager

Edmonton City Hall in an undated photo. (CTV News Edmonton) Edmonton City Hall in an undated photo. (CTV News Edmonton)

An eight-year City of Edmonton administration veteran will fill in as its city manager while it searches for a permanent replacement.

Eddie Robar was named interim city manager on Wednesday after Andre Corbould announced on March 22 he was quitting after a little more than three years in the job.

Robar, who had been the deputy city manager of city operations — the department responsible for roads, transit, parks and waste among other services — was appointed acting city manager when Corbould stepped down.

Robar told media on Wednesday at city hall he's "excited to hear" what city council wants to focus on next.

He said the recent labour strife settled recently between the city and a wide swath of its unionized employees is something that needs immediate attention as well as the OP-12 directive from city council, which was introduced two years ago, for administration to find $60 million in permanent spending savings over four years.

"The culture piece is a big piece of work that I think we need to get on right away, and something that we can do and manage throughout the organization in a way that hopefully is not impactful to our financial situation — I think there's some low hanging fruit that we can work on — but that's going to be a conversation with our leadership group," Robar said.

"There are a lot of challenges that we're facing in the next little bit, and I think creating that foundational experience, trying to get that 'What does it take to run a city every single day?' and be very clear of what that looks like for us is a goal to make sure that we can understand our financial situation."

The city manager leads the 11,000-plus civic employees across more than 70 lines of business and is the conduit between administration and city council.

"We appreciate that Eddie will provide a steady hand during this transition period," Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said on Wednesday during the media conference to announce Robar's appointment as interim manager.

"He has already earned the confidence of council through leadership and delivering key city programs, and we appreciate his commitment to public service in taking on this new assignment."

Corbould, whose resignation comes following a year in which five deputy city managers quit their jobs, joined Edmonton's administration in January 2021 after decades of public service with the provincial government and the Canadian Armed Forces.

He was Edmonton's fourth city manager in the last nine years.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jeremy Thompson Top Stories

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