After a nationwide search, Saskatoon city council decided to promote from within to fill the vacant city manager position.
Jeff Jorgenson was announced as the city’s top administration official at Monday’s council meeting.
The 48-year-old started working for the City of Saskatoon in 1996, working his way up the ranks. He left briefly in 2008 to become vice-president at North Ridge Developments, but returned later that year as a city general manager.
Jorgenson was installed as acting city manager when Murray Totland retired in December.
The decision was made by a council hiring committee made up of Mayor Charlie Clark and councillors Ann Iwanchuk, Randy Donauer, Hilary Gough and Bev Dubois.
The hiring committee brought in MNP Consulting to help run a national search for a new city manager, with 67 applications received in total.
Ultimately, Jorgenson was viewed as the best fit.
He told 650 CKOM he had already started making some changes within city administration, and said having the role permanently will help him complete the process.
“We could only go so far, we were in a holding pattern,” he said.
“Now that we have clarity, we can take those next steps.”
Jorgenson said his main priorities are to oversee the completion of several infrastructure projects across Saskatoon — the North Commuter Parkway Bridge, new Traffic Bridge and the McOrmond and Boychuk overpasses.
He said he also wants to continue an overhaul of how city staff make internal decisions and conduct finances.
“Those kinds of projects are going to re-invent how we do business at the city,” he said.
The veteran civil servant’s contract runs for five years, with a starting salary of $256,000 per year — $50,000 less than Totland’s pay in 2017.
The contract was agreed upon after comparisons to other cities across Canada, Jorgenson said
“It’s competitive and fair for sure,” he said.
Jorgenson begins his duties effective immediately.