Whitehorse sacks city manager

Whitehorse’s city manager has been fired. Stan Westby’s contract was officially terminated on Friday after a special council meeting on Thursday, said Mayor Dan Curtis.

Whitehorse’s city manager has been fired.

Stan Westby’s contract was officially terminated on Friday after a special council meeting on Thursday, said Mayor Dan Curtis.

When reached at his home on Monday morning, Westby said he couldn’t comment on the situation because he is considering legal action against the city.

“I would love to say my piece, and hopefully the time will come once I’ve had the opportunity to chat this a little bit further with my lawyer,” Westby said.

Westby had been suspended since April 5. But, until last week, the city would only publicly say that he was on medical leave.

The delay was due to the city’s manager bylaw, which required a hearing before council could make a decision, and that hearing was delayed by Westby’s medical leave.

“The reality is that he was suspended on April 5, and terminated on Friday. He was suspended the whole time but there was a stint in the middle where he was on medical leave,” Curtis said.

Westby was fired with cause, meaning that he doesn’t qualify for a severance package.

Brian Crist has served as acting city manager in Westby’s absence. He will continue to do so while city council decides how to fill the position permanently, said Curtis.

Crist couldn’t be reached for comment – his voicemail says that he is out of the office until mid-October, and that Mike Gau, the city’s director of development services, is filling in while he is away.

“We need to find a full time city manager as soon as we can,” Curtis said.

“That’s the person that really steers the ship. Brian has done phenomenal job keeping things afloat, and I don’t think anyone would notice any kind of disruption of any service. Things have been great,” he said.

City council will meet in the “immediate future” to decide how to proceed, Curtis said.

Westby started as the city manager in August 2012, having been recruited from Powell River, B.C. He had served as that city’s chief administrative officer for more a decade.

Contact Jesse Winter at jessew@yukon-news.com