(Calgary) – Rollin Stanley, a well-known and visionary municipal planner currently working as the Director of Planning for Montgomery County, Maryland, has been appointed as the General Manager for Planning, Development & Assessment at The City of Calgary. Stanley is expected to begin work in Calgary in June.
“Mr. Stanley brings a wealth of experience in strategic urban growth, department leadership and community and stakeholder partnerships,” said City Manager Owen Tobert. “I am confident that Rollin is the right person to reinvigorate the planning approval process and ignite implementation of the long-range plans that resulted from Plan It Calgary, moving us as an organization and a community in our desired direction.”
Stanley was chosen after a lengthy international search to replace retiring General Manager David Watson that considered extremely qualified internal and external candidates. “I was impressed by the very high calibre talent Calgary has attracted – a clear indication that Calgary is achieving success in our goal to be a magnet for global talent,” said Tobert.
“Among the experience that Rollin brings to the position is his commitment to sustainability, his drive to preserve what is really great, and change what doesn’t work or needs improvement,” said Tobert. In the four years under Stanley’s leadership, Montgomery County has gone from planning stagnation to receiving international recognition for leadership in urban and suburban rethinking of growth, and linking land use to inputs such as health, culture and economics. The planning department underwent a renewal and refocus despite a declining budget.
“Calgarians should be proud of the vision they have articulated for their future through imagineCALGARY. For most cities, this first step is often unachievable,” said Stanley. “My wife and I are excited about the energy this initiative displays and the resolve to plan for a socially sustainable future. Cities are not about buildings; they succeed on the social activity created by the physical environment. All residents and the business community are critical in defining the pieces that, together, will help to achieve that vision.”
“A deciding factor in our move is the leadership from the Administration and Council, pointing Calgary in a unified direction,” added Stanley. “And I will say it right up front, no matter where I have lived, the biggest sports day for me is Labour Day, and the game against Edmonton. My dad grew up in Calgary, I have family here, and I was in the top row at Skydome in 1992 when Calgary won the Grey Cup.”
In the politically charged neighbourhood of Washington, DC, Stanley has managed high profile issues that attract considerable media attention. Tobert acknowledges that Stanley comes to Calgary with a recent controversy on his CV. “Rollin made some comments that were offensive to members of some of his stakeholder communities, and that is regrettable. He has accepted accountability and took swift measures to address the controversy, make amends and move forward. Rollin’s reputation for community building through cooperation and consensus is stellar and this lapse is not representative of his career,” said Tobert.
Prior to taking the planning helm in Montgomery County in 2008, Rollin was the Director of the Planning and Urban Design Agency in St. Louis from 2002 to 2008. There he was part of the mayor’s team to rebuild a challenged urban environment leading to one of the biggest turnarounds of any American city. He was a senior planner with the City of Toronto from 1981 to 2002, and a planning officer with Transport Canada (Toronto International Airport) from 1981 to 1982.
Stanley is Canadian, has a Bachelor degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Ryerson University in Toronto and is designated by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and the American Planning Association (APA). He has been recently working in China with the AICP to help plan for a sustainable future for the City of Shouzhou and will continue to be associated with green infrastructure development elsewhere in China.
Stanley will take up his duties in June and, with his wife Ann Stanley, will be moving to Calgary as soon as possible.
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Rollin Stanley and Owen Tobert will be available to meet with the media:
Monday, April 23, 2012
9:45 a.m. (at the conclusion of introduction during Council’s regular meeting)
Calgary Power Reception Hall
Historic City Hall