The City of Saskatoon has fired the departmental director who was responsible for presenting and explaining a controversial waste utility program.
Brenda Wallace, formerly the city’s director of environmental and corporate initiatives, was terminated on Friday — just days after city councillors approved her plan to send homeowners a monthly bill for garbage collection based on the size of their bin.
Ward 1 Councillor Darren Hill told The Brent Loucks Show he and his colleagues learned of the firing later that day.
“We were only aware of Brenda’s termination at the end of last week,” he said.
City Manager Jeff Jorgenson said in a statement Wednesday he wouldn’t be discussing the matter.
“The City’s environmental files are Strategic Priorities for the City,” he wrote.
“While we understand and appreciate the public interest in any possible changes to the civic Administration, we respectfully decline interviews as the City does not discuss employee-employer matters in public.”
Wallace had held the director position since 2010.
Besides the embattled waste utility project, she was known for having helped usher in Saskatoon’s blue bin recycling program.
Wallace did not respond to a request for comment.
Hill clarified Thursday morning his decision to call for a re-do on last week’s garbage utility vote had nothing to do with Wallace’s firing.
He said councillors aren’t aware of all the circumstances regarding the termination either, noting city council technically only has three employees — the city manager, city solicitor and city clerk.
“It’s not our area or responsibility to be involved in the staffing and operational level,” he said. “When councillors do that, it becomes a nightmare.”