Janette Smith in April 2019 when she was announced as the next Hamilton City Manager Credit: Joey Coleman

Mayor Andrea Horwath says City Manager Janette Smith is retiring.

“Janette led our public service through some of the most difficult years Hamilton has faced,” the Mayor wrote in a statement this morning.

“I know she will continue to make a difference for city residents and staff for years to come, and I thank her for her service to Hamilton.”

“A posting for the City Manager role will be released shortly, with the goal of naming a successor by the end of 2023,” the Mayor’s statement continues.

Smith has been Hamilton City Manager since May 6, 2019.

Smith’s hiring was greeted with optimism, her Hamilton roots were celebrated, and she was frequently seen in the community meeting with a wide range of people.

She quickly lost public trust in November 2019 when the City’s cover-up of a 24-billion litre sewage leak into Chedoke Creek and Cootes Paradise was revealed by an unknown whistleblower.

When the COVID state of emergency began in March 2020, Smith was away and entrusted then General Manager of Healthy and Safe Communities Paul Johnson stepped in to manage the City’s response to the pandemic.

Smith’s most decisive action was ending the employment of the City’s General Manager of Public Works, and the Director of Water in September 2021.

Smith and the new Council have been out of step on various files.

Most glaringly, city staff failed to follow Council direction to address renovictions.

Most recently, Smith’s office organized the widely criticized Encampment Protocol Town Halls.

“Jason Thorne, General Manager of Planning and Economic Development, will serve as Acting City Manager until the search for a new City Manager is concluded,” reads the Mayor’s statement.

Smith’s retirement is effective October 31.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger introduces Janette Smith as the next City of Hamilton City Manager during a April 2019 announcement.

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Published: July 21, 2023
Last edited: July 21, 2023
Author: Joey Coleman
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2 replies on “Hamilton City Manager Janette Smith Announces Retirement”

  1. Why she was hired in the first place is beyond me! All the best to Jason Thorne at this time!

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