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Brampton appoints sixth chief administrative officer in six years
Nov. 21, 2022
Graeme Frisque

The seemingly endless shuffle of top bureaucrats at Brampton city hall continued this week after the city announced the hiring of a sixth new chief administrative officer (CAO) in as many years.

On Friday (Nov. 18), the city revealed the city’s now former community services commissioner Marlon Kallideen has been promoted to CAO.

“Marlon is regarded by council and staff as a trusted, strategic and thoughtful leader with a proven record of achieving meaningful results for the communities he serves,” said recently re-elected Mayor Patrick Brown in a release.

Kallideen was hired by the city in 2021 after previously working for the City of Vaughan for 16 years in stints as an executive director and commissioner of community services. According to the city’s release, he was also vice-president of the Vaughan Non-Profit Housing Corporation.

He is the third “permanent” CAO hired in Brampton since 2016, in addition to three interim replacements.

Most recently, the city's bylaw director and now acting commissioner of legislative services, Paul Morrison, was appointed interim CAO after city council decided to part ways with David Barrick earlier this year.

Barrick was hired in October 2019 after his predecessor Harry Schlange was let go shortly after the 2018 municipal election that saw Brown elected to his first term as mayor. Schlange was hired in April 2016 by the previous council under former mayor Linda Jeffrey.

Two other former senior city staffers -- Joe Pittari and Al Meneses -- served as interim CAO prior to Barrick’s hiring, bringing the total number of people to hold the title of CAO to six since Schlange's hiring.

Due to a clause in his 2016 contract, Brampton taxpayers have paid Schlange nearly a million dollars since his departure. He has appeared at or near the top of the province’s Sunshine List for Brampton in each of the past three years despite working as CAO for the Town of Grimsby since July 2019.

No details of Barrick’s contract or severance package have been released publicly and it remains unknown how much his early contract termination may end up costing taxpayers.

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As for Kallideen, he takes over as CAO following a tumultuous end to the last term of council that saw numerous meetings cancelled as two council factions engaged in a bitter and very public power struggle that started with Barrick’s termination via a 6-5 council vote in February of this year.

However, the council he will begin his tenure working under will look very different, with four new faces elected to represent Bramptonians in the recent Oct. 24 municipal election.

As CAO, Kallideen will oversee a staff leadership team at city hall, including five commissioners, general manager of Brampton Transit Alex Milojevic and fire chief Bill Boyes.

According to the city’s organizational chart, director of economic development Clair Barnett, director of internal Claire Mu and director of organizational performance and strategy Mikkel Marr will also be under Kallideen’s supervision. Marr is also listed as acting director of corporate projects, policy and liaison.

The current five commissioners are all listed as being in acting roles and include: Morrison (legislative services), Boyes (community services), Steve Ganesh (planning, building and growth management), Michael Won (public works and engineering), and Richard Conard (corporate support services).

“I am honoured to take on the role of Chief Administrative Officer with the City of Brampton. Brampton is a fast-growing city with limitless opportunity and potential, and together with our Council and dedicated City of Brampton employees, we look forward to continuing to provide the day-to-day services our residents rely on and advancing key priorities that impact our residents’ quality of life -- from community safety, to jobs, recreation, transit, environmental initiatives and more,” Kallideen said in the city’s release.