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Winnipeg’s CAO leaving after decades at city hall

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Winnipeg’s chief administrative officer has given his notice.

The city said in a news release Monday Michael Jack has told Mayor Scott Gillingham and the executive policy committee he will leave city hall.

Jack said he feels now is the time for someone new to come in and lead the city’s public service with a fresh perspective.

“To paraphrase one of my favourite hockey coaches, as head of the City’s Public Service, I feel I was a good leader and I had a good team, but I have lead this team as far as I can and it’s time for someone new to take them to the next level.”

Jack began working at the city in 2000 in various roles before being appointed CAO in July 2021.

He was responsible for leading several initiatives, including the co-development of Naawi-Oodena, the largest urban reserve in Canada, the creation of the community safety team and the resolution of the decade-long effort to seek compensation for construction of the Winnipeg Police Service Headquarters.

Mayor Gillingham thanked Jack for his decades of service to the city.

“His contributions as part of our Legal Services and Senior Management Teams have been significant, particularly in guiding the City through the pandemic and our initial recovery phase.”

Gillingham to nominate interim CAO

In the meantime, Mayor Gillingham announced plans to bring forward a motion at the next executive policy committee meeting to nominate Sherwood Armbruster as interim CAO.

Armbruster has been with the city since 2012, working as the senior election official and manager of strategic initiatives.

He was previously interim CAO at Siloam Mission and a chief of staff and deputy chief of staff to former Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz.

“Sherwood Armbruster knows City Hall very well, and is widely respected by the Public Service, elected officials, and many external stakeholders,” Gillingham said.

“I am confident he will provide steady and compassionate leadership as we go through the recruitment process for a new permanent CAO.”

If Armbruster’s appointment is approved by EPC and council, he'd start work in the role on June 28.

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