New City Manager Andre Corbould pledges balance between aspirations and the here and now

City Manager Andre Corbould introduced himself to the people of Edmonton with an admission and his mission. 

The admission was why he took the job. 

“One of the reasons I was drawn to this role was because of the level of transparency that goes with decision-making at the municipal level,” Corbould said at a live streamed news conference from City Hall in Edmonton. “That’s a value that is personally important to me and part of my management style.”

The mission is what citizens can expect from him. 

“My job will be leading through the change required to start and realize our economic recovery and to grow our community,” Corbould said. “That means building on opportunities to become more efficient with service delivery and getting the greatest possible value that Edmontonians receive for their tax dollars.”

Mayor, City Plan

Corbould started his job on Monday, January 18. He takes the reins as chief administrative officer of the City of Edmonton from Interim City Manager Adam Laughlin, who stepped in when former city manager Linda Cochrane retired. 

Mayor Don Iveson introduced Corbould. 

“Some of the things I’m looking forward to working with Andre on include implementing the City Plan, enhancing regional collaboration with our neighbours, and, of course, working on our ongoing response to COVID-19 and our plans to help the city recover,” Iveson said. 

Most recently, Corbould worked as the deputy minister of Alberta Education. He also served in the Canadian Forces, including tours of duty in Afghanistan. 

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Corbould described his leadership style as collaborative. 

“I will continue to talk with and listen to the Mayor and Councillors, staff and citizens to hear their guidance and perspectives,” he said. 

“In my discussions so far, what stands out are the strong values and commitment everyone has to building the best possible community. I’m looking forward to connecting with community partners and the people of Edmonton as soon as I can.” 

City Manager Andre Corbould, City Hall, Edmonton, January 20, 2021.

At the news conference, Corbould was asked what his approach would be to get major infrastructure projects, including LRT, across the finish line.

“Those projects will carry on. I will be taking a close look at them as we get into the transition and I get briefed up on the projects,” he said. 

“The key is that we’re not going to slow down, stop, pause. We’re going to maintain the momentum of the City work that is ahead of us.” 

Immediate priorities

Corbould, who got the top job after a national search that drew more than 100 applicants from Canada and beyond, listed his immediate priorities for the coming weeks and months, including: 

  • Edmonton’s pandemic response and long-term recovery
  • regional collaboration and economic development opportunities
  • budget implementation 
  • infrastructure, transportation and maintenance
  • conducting a successful municipal election in October
  • the operations and citizen services essential to daily lives of Edmontonians. 

Balancing act

Corbould indicated the art of his job will be finding the harmony between the vision for Edmonton and the work that needs doing now. 

“Managing the balance between the here and now and the future vision of the city as expressed in ConnnectEdmonton and the City Plan are also key aspects of the work ahead for the City,” said Corbould. 

City Manager Andre Corbould, right, with Eddie Robar, Branch Manager, Fleet and Facility Services, Kathleen Andrews Transit Garage, January 18, 2021.