Rocky View County CAO Dorian Wandzura has been terminated by county council in a close 4-3 vote today (Aug. 1), and Byron Riemann has been appointed acting CAO.
RVC council moved to terminate Wandzura without stating a cause, only that they prefer to move onto an individual that has a different style of leadership to support the council, residents, and the diversity of the county.
Wandzura has been placed on a leave of absence with pay. The notice will be delivered in person.
Deputy Reeve Sunny Samra was not convinced it was the appropriate action and was unsure of the end goal.
"I believe it's a little short-sighted or premature in my understanding of this. Also, I'd like to add that I don't think it's in the best interest of the county. We are halfway through our term almost, and this decision is definitely not in the best interest of the county from how I look at it."
Div. 4 councillor Samanntha Wright was concerned that the move would undo some of the progress being made in the county.
"I think that we gave him a number of items to work on, and I think those are being worked on well. Granted, there have been some issues with how slow things have moved, and we would like things to be moving more quickly, but I think that's all starting to come to fruition. I think if we stayed the course, we'll come out far further ahead than doing this at this time."
She believes it's not the message they want to send.
"I think we're moving in a really positive direction. I think regionally we're moving positively, and I don't think this is the message that we really want to send. As for faulting leadership, I don't know that we clearly defined what style of leadership we want. I challenge what's missing."
Div. 1 councillor Hanson questioned the decision, pointing to the positive feedback received.
"We had survey results that were showing that we were making progress and there was less fear in the organization, and Dorian is definitely not about command and control. I think as a result, the workforce was moving forward positively, and we were figuring out how to stay relevant post-COVID."
Hanson called him a visionary who perhaps was a little too precise in his delivery.
"I think he's brought things to Rocky View that we haven't seen in 20 or 30 years and in terms of a wholesome analysis of how we do our service delivery and...
Hanson was cut off by a point of order of Div. 7 councillor Al Shule.
"I think we're really starting to talk too much about personally how we feel. I think that's not why we're here," said Shule.
Hanson argued he was under the impression they would be allowed to express their views without introducing any new information that was not already a matter of public record. Reeve Crystal Kissel warned him again later on when he touched on points from a closed session.
"We planted some very nice seeds here," says Hanson. "We're watching them grow, and we're starting to reap the rewards and come some unspecified date in the future, the fruits of our labour will be there for all to see. So, much like Councillor Samra, why now?"
None of the four who supported directly on the motion spoke, although Div. 2 councillor Don Kochan raised a point of order earlier on comments being too specific.
The decision followed a 25-minute in-camera session.
Wandzura became the county's CAO on May 2, 2022.