On June 30, 2016, the City of Vancouver announced the creation of a new department (Development Services, Buildings and Licensing) and the hiring of a new person (Kaye Matheny Krishna) to lead it. This is an important position, including among many other major tasks the goal of improving “permitting and licensing processes and improve service and turnaround times for applicants.”
Below are links to two articles on the new appointment, plus the text of the City’s statement. We also note that Vancouver has been without a Director of Planning for nearly a year now, but this announcement indicates that a new department will be created (Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability) and the announcement of its new general manager is imminent. The public service has been rather politicized at Vancouver City Hall, but we hope the two new managers will be able to rise above that and put the public interest, taxpayers, and citizens first.
Vancouver hires ex-N. Y. official to lead department of development services, buildings and licensing (by Matt Robinson, Vancouver Sun, 3-July-2016)
Kaye Matheny Krishna hired as City of Vancouver’s general manager of development services, buildings, and licences (by Charlie Smith, Georgia Straight, 30-June-2016). Excerpt: “The lacklustre title hardly does justice to the post. Among Matheny Krishna’s likely files are pot shops, liquor licensing, housing permits, on-demand car services like Uber and short-term rentals like Airbnb. All are tricky, some are divisive and none have easy solutions.” Also points out that she also has experience as a real estate and planning consultant.
Announcement from City of Vancouver, 30-June-2016
(bolding is by CHW, for emphasis)
City appoints new general manager of development services, buildings and licensing
The City of Vancouver has appointed Kaye Matheny Krishna as the new General Manager of a newly created City of Vancouver department: Development Services, Buildings and Licensing. Kaye will assume leadership of the City’s efforts to transform its permitting and licensing processes and improve service and turnaround times for applicants. The licensing function, which has been under the Community Services Department will be integrated into the new department. Kaye will take on responsibility for several key policy issues, including management of liquor licensing and the City’s regulatory framework for marijuana dispensaries.
“We are excited for Kaye to join the City of Vancouver. In addition to pursuing innovative policies, Kaye’s demonstrated leadership will ensure that we make developing a building or licensing a business easier in Vancouver,” says Sadhu Johnston, Vancouver City Manager. “As part of her immediate efforts, we’ll be appointing an expert panel to look at ways to improve the development process in Vancouver, including tools that can be utilized through city processes to increase the supply of affordable housing in Vancouver.”
Kaye brings extensive experience in local government, most recently as a Principal with HR&A Advisors, a real estate and planning firm, and previously as the Chief of Staff and Deputy Commissioner, Strategy and Operations for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. She also spent several years as a management consultant. Kaye holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations. Kaye is a resident of Vancouver.
At HR&A, Kaye was the strategy partner for the 100 Resilient Cities program leading Chief Resilience Officers through economic analyses, land use planning, neighbourhood revitalization strategies, community engagement, and city-wide strategic planning. She was also the program lead for the National Disaster Resilience Competition Capacity Building Initiative, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and The Rockefeller Foundation, leading municipal and state government teams through a 1.5-year effort to design innovative projects to better adapt to climate change.
Prior to that, as Chief of Staff for the NYC Department of Housing, Kaye led the Department leadership team through large-scale change initiatives and major political policy and community issues. While Deputy Commissioner of Strategy and Operations, Kaye led the Department’s Hurricane Sandy recovery effort which included: designing and implementing emergency housing and replacement programs as well as coordinating and developing private and non-profit recovery programs.
“I’m thrilled to join the exceptional leadership team at the City. Vancouver continues to be a global leader of forward-thinking policy and good government and I look forward to building on that legacy to transform service delivery, strengthen partnerships, and develop an inclusive, thriving city for the residents of today and the future,” says Kaye Matheny Krishna, incoming General Manager of Development Services, Buildings and Licensing.
Kaye will be starting her position on August 1, 2016.
Following Brian Jackson’s retirement as General Manager, Planning & Development Services last November, internal and external stakeholder engagement identified the need for a dedicated senior position to lead the City’s Planning function and to separate that role from the General Manager responsible for the overall Planning and Development Services portfolio. The search for those two positions has been very comprehensive and has received significant interest nationally and internationally.
In addition to the role that will be filled by Kaye Matheny Krishna, the City will be filling a second General Manager position to oversee the Planning and Urban Design functions. This new department will also have the City’s Sustainability Group integrated within its mandate, which will support the effective implementation of the City’s Greenest City Action Plan (GCAP), Renewable City Strategy and green building initiatives. This GM will fulfill the statutory responsibilities of the Director of Planning under the Vancouver Charter and will lead the City’s work on land use, urban design and the negotiation of major developments. The recruitment process for the GM of Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability is ongoing and the City expects to make an announcement in the near future.