City’s Chief Administrative Officer announces plan to retire

Scott Stewart will complete his five-year term as CAO in July

Guelph, Ont., January 25, 2024 – The City of Guelph’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Scott Stewart, has announced that he will retire this summer. Stewart was appointed Chief Administrative Officer in July 2019; he will retire at the end of his five-year term in late July.

A dedicated civil servant throughout his 38-year career, Stewart held various senior leadership positions in municipal governments including the Region of Peel and the Cities of Hamilton and Burlington before joining the City of Guelph in December 2015 as Deputy CAO of the Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise service area (now called Infrastructure, Development and Environment).

During his time as CAO, Stewart oversaw the development and implementation of the City’s 2019-2023 Strategic Plan (Guelph. Future Ready) and the 2024-2027 Strategic Plan (Future Guelph), advancing the community’s priorities related to city building and development, environmental stewardship and sustainability, and economic growth. He also led the City’s emergency control group throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, working closely with many local organizations to maintain the delivery of essential City services and enhance support for the community.

As CAO, Stewart worked with Council to set corporate objectives for the City of Guelph founded on responsible fiscal management, excellent service delivery, performance measurement and a commitment to accountability in public service.

“Serving as the CAO has been the pinnacle of my career, and I wouldn’t have wanted it to be in any other place than Guelph,” says Stewart. “I have appreciated and enjoyed working collaboratively with community leaders on some of the complex issues facing our city, and I am grateful to Council for consistently providing great leadership and guidance on behalf of our residents. Of course, none of my professional success would have been possible without the support of our talented and caring City staff; as I settle into my next chapter of life in retirement, I know I will reflect fondly on my time spent working alongside them.”

Stewart’s collaborative leadership style has contributed to a culture of inclusion and appreciation within the City. By instituting employee engagement and development programs like the City of Guelph Leadership Academy and the CAO on the Go program, he has influenced the organization’s ability to attract and retain talent and achieve recognition as an employer of choice in the region.

“I am truly grateful that we had Scott Stewart at the helm as the City of Guelph’s CAO for five years,” says Mayor Cam Guthrie. “Scott’s strategic vision and years of public-sector experience made him a champion for our municipality, and we are fortunate to have had his leadership during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Scott’s experience, professionalism and guidance will be missed. I wish him all the best in his retirement and this new chapter of his life.”

The CAO is the top administrator in a municipality. They are responsible for setting the organization’s direction, managing organizational performance, ensuring reliable, efficient and effective delivery of core City services, driving innovation to improve transparency and accountability in local government and balancing community expectations with financial feasibility.

Mayor Cam Guthrie will work with Stewart, Council and Human Resources to begin the recruitment for the City’s next CAO.

Media Contact

Katherine Galley
Manager, Strategic Communications
City of Guelph
[email protected]