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Commissioner leaving city for new position

Former director of facilities management, Mark Robinson, stepping up to fill role in interim

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

A top staffer within the City of Oshawa is bidding farewell.

At the end of March, Bev Hendry, the city’s commissioner of corporate services will be leaving the city as she takes on a new role as the CAO for the Township of West Lincoln, located in the Niagara Region.

Hendry joined Oshawa after more than eight years as the CAO for the Township of Scugog. Quickly into her time here she was appointed as the interim city manager, a post she held down from November 2014 to December of 2015.

Along with that, Hendry was a key part of many city initiatives that have moved forward over the last three years.

“The City of Oshawa has given me opportunities for which I am very thankful and I am particularly proud of the work we have done in corporate services in terms of a number of improvement initiatives,” Hendry says. “Modernizing enterprise-wide systems, community engagement, a new facility audit program, enhanced Service Oshawa coverage, proactive apartment building audits, ward boundary review, open data, cyber security, modernized animal standards, and new      licensing regimes. I could go on and on.”

With that said, Hendry’s department has been one of the busiest inside city hall, dealing with tenant issues, the looming presence of Uber and its impacts on city bylaws and the taxicab industry, and new rules for designated driving services, which caused an uproar from parts of the industry in 2017.

However, members of council note that Hendry handled the issues well, and she received high praise from the members of council she worked with, in particular, Councillor Amy McQuaid-England who worked closely with Hendry as chair of the Corporate Services committee for the majority of the recent term.

“It was a pleasure to work with Commissioner Hendry for the last three and a half years,” McQuaid-England says. “Even when we butted heads, we always had the same end goals in mind for residents. She was committed to making things more accessible and championed things like open data. It will be sad to see such a strong woman in leadership leave our city.”

The same was said by Mayor John Henry.

“Opportunities knock on doors, and for Bev this is a great opportunity for her to take her knowledge and her skills and do what she does best, build great communities,” he says. “The people in the communities that she’s going to will see somebody who comes with a full set of skills and tools and will help shape that community.”

At a special meeting of council on Feb. 27, a motion was carried to appoint Mark Robinson, the city’s director of facilities       management as the commissioner on an       interim basis until a permanent replacement is found.

According to the motion,  the hiring process will be an “internal competition.”

Robinson begins his new interim role on March 19.