It’s been 41 years since Murray Totland started working with the City of Saskatoon as a summer student.
Now, the city manager is saying farewell to his career as a civil servant.
Totland announced Friday morning he would be leaving his position as the top city administrator in Saskatoon, serving his final day on Dec. 31.
He told reporters at city hall it was the right decision for him and his family.
“I’ve accomplished a lot of things I’d wanted to do at the city, and I just feel it’s time to move on to a different endeavour,” he said.
A graduate from the University of Saskatchewan’s engineering program, Totland began working full-time with the city in 1982, ascending to the top job in 2009.
He’s served 11 city councils and five mayors through his career, becoming city manager during Don Atchison’s tenure.
Totland emphasized his decision was not a result of the direction of the new city council put in place after the last election in October 2016.
“I’m quite enjoying the new council and a bit of a more collaborative and engaged process,” he said.
“This was strictly a personal decision on my part.”
Mayor Charlie Clark was on-hand for the announcement, saying Totland informed him and the rest of council of the decision to step away on Monday.
He thanked the city manager for his service, saying Totland had acted as a “steady hand on the tiller” during his years in Saskatoon.
“I am very grateful for the role Murray has played,” Clark said.
“There has been so many times when we’ve gone through challenging situations, and Mr. Totland has stood up and helped provide a calm, reassuring clarity for how to deal with things.”
The mayor added Totland has left his mark on the city, overseeing major projects like the Circle Drive South, Traffic and North Commuter Parkway bridges along with the Remai Modern Art Gallery and new police headquarters.
Totland said he can’t take all the credit.
“Any success I’ve seen has been largely due to the 3,600 colleagues I have working tirelessly and dedicated behind the scenes,” he said.
City council will now begin the search for a new city manager, working with a personnel committee to compile a list of top candidates.
Clark said the job will be advertised and it would be an open competition to find a replacement.
However, he said the new manager likely wouldn’t be in place by Totland’s last day.
Totland’s decision means he will not receive bonuses due to him in 2019, but he will still receive some extra funds from performance clauses he fulfilled in the last year.