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City Council: Wendy Stephanson Hired as New City Manager

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

August 23, 2023

Council, committees and City Hall


After nine months as Interim City Manager, City Council on Wednesday removed the interim tag and officially named Wendy Stephanson as the new City manager.


"I would like to congratulate Wendy Stephanson on her appointment as our City Manager," Councillor Kelly said. "I look forward to meeting with her in the coming days to discuss how we can best work together to improve services in West Carleton-March."


As City Manager, Stephanson serves as Council’s chief administrator leading the organization to deliver services across more than 100 distinct lines of business through 10 departments and 17,000 employees.


"It is my great honour to serve as City Manager," Stephanson said. "It fills me with a tremendous sense of appreciation to also be the first woman in this senior leadership role for the City of Ottawa. I am proud, humbled and excited to lead Team Ottawa as we work together to deliver on our shared vision of creating a prosperous, sustainable, inclusive and resilient city."


As City Manager, Wendy serves as Council’s chief administrator leading the organization to deliver services across more than 100 distinct lines of business through 10 departments and 17,000 employees.


Wendy is a strong financial steward who has devoted her entire career to public service. With more than 25 years with the City of Ottawa, she has held several leadership roles including most recently as Chief Financial Officer (CFO).


New City Manager Wendy Stephanson

As CFO, Wendy was responsible for all financial aspects of the corporation, including the development of the $4.14B operating and $989.5M capital budgets, tax policy, long-range financial plans and $1.8B annual payroll and distribution of pensions and benefits.


Throughout her tenure with the City of Ottawa, Wendy has established strong, collaborative relationships across the organization, local industry partners and key stakeholders at all levels of government. She is an accomplished servant leader who has a proven track record of developing, empowering and guiding diverse teams of people to deliver quality service.


In addition to her role with the City of Ottawa, Wendy has made significant impacts across the Province of Ontario. Through her collaboration with the Ontario Municipal Tax and Revenue Association’s (OMTRA) Education Committee, educational material for the Municipal Tax and Revenue Administration program was developed and administered by Seneca College. This work was also included in the re-developed Municipal Practitioner’s Guide to the Tax Sale Process that is used by municipal and legal professionals throughout Ontario. In 2017, Wendy received a Province of Ontario Volunteer Service Award for these contributions.


Wendy is also a member of the Big City Hub Task Force where the six largest cities in Canada collaborated to address the COVID-19 pandemic and develop a safe restart plan for Canada’s economy.


Wendy holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Carleton University, is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Certified Municipal Revenue Professional (CMRP). She is an active member of the Ontario Municipal Tax and Revenue Association, where she currently serves as a director on the board.


More from this week's City Council Meeting


Council on Wednesday (Aug 23) also approved Official Plan and zoning amendments to facilitate new construction across the City. This includes a nine-story building with 118 rental units northeast of Rochester and Balsam streets. The amendments increase permitted height from four to nine storeys, consistent with the goal of higher density near transit stations and in areas that contribute to 15-minute neighbourhoods.


Council approved several other zoning amendments, including one to facilitate a 64-unit, six-storey building in Vanier, northwest of McArthur Avenue and Belisle Street. That proposal will also involve a new sidewalk and tree plantings along Belisle Street. An approved zoning amendment for a nine-storey building northwest of Richmond Road and Tweedsmuir Avenue will deliver another 104 dwellings in Westboro, and will also include public realm improvements with new trees and planting beds on Tweedsmuir Avenue.


Farther east, Council approved a zoning amendment to facilitate a 43-unit, four-storey apartment building southeast of Innes Road and Cleroux Crescent. Council also approved a zoning amendment to permit back-to-back townhouses within an ongoing subdivision in Riverside South, promising another 30 homes for Ottawa residents.


Council also made a small change to the Vacant Unit Tax, excluding newly built units that are listed for sale and not sold within the first year the units are added to the property tax roll. This will come into effect on January 1, 2024.

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