New city manager hired
London Community News
By Sean Meyer/London Community News/Twitter: Newswriter22
London’s new top executive has been described as a dynamic and respected leader who has more than 20 years of municipal government experience, as well as an extensive educational background.
Art Zuidema was confirmed today as London’s new city manager, effective Aug. 13.
“We are so fortunate to have a young, dynamic leader that has decided to join the City of London,” Mayor Joe Fontana said today at a media conference following council’s unanimous vote on the selection. “He is solid as a rock, he has the respect of management of council. He is second to none. Courageous in his ideas. What you see is what you get.”
Zuidema comes to London from the City of Hamilton, where his most recent position was director of corporate initiatives. In this role, he has been responsible for strategic planning, corporate-wide initiatives, communications and chairing the senior management team. His previous positions with the City of Hamilton include senior solicitor and executive assistant to the city manager.
“Council believes that Mr. Zuidema’s experience and vision make him the perfect choice to lead the city over the coming years," Fontana said. “He has an extensive record of bringing diverse teams of people together to deliver results. Mr. Zuidema’s municipal experience, combined with his ability to gain the respect and trust of those around him, will be a tremendous asset to London and to our organization.”
Zuidema is 49 years old and is married. He and his wife, Jyoti, have an 11-year-old daughter, Zoe. He has earned two masters degrees in public administration and business administration from Western University.
“I am very excited and honoured to have the opportunity to contribute to the community of London,” Zuidema said. “I look forward to working with council, city employees and community members as we continue to deliver high quality services and results.”
When asked whether he would be moving to London, Zuidema said it “is certainly a consideration in the future.”
Fontana was somewhat coy when asked what Zuidema would be paid in the position. “He is going to make twice as much as me; that’s less than Jeff (Fielding, the former city manager).”
According to the 2011 Sunshine List, Fielding brought in $254,647 as annual salary and $10,000 in taxable benefits. Fielding resigned as city manager in December 2011 after eight years on the job.
Zuidema, who was one of 100 applicants for the position, will take over his new role later this summer, after fulfilling certain obligations to both the City of Hamilton and his family. The later, Zuidema said, includes taking some time off.
When he does begin, Zuidema said he was looking forward to working on the city’s plans around economic investment.
“I think one of the first things is to get engaged with the investment strategy plan council is preparing,” Zuidema said. “I think council’s vision is a very good one, to look at the resources they have and to ensure those resources are appropriately used for maximum impact in the community.”
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