With latest departure, City of Regina's senior executive team has had complete turnover since 2022

Every permanent member of city administration in place in 2022, when this photo was taken, has now quit, been fired or been replaced. That includes, from left: city solicitor Byron Werry, executive director of citizen services Kim Onrait and acting executive director of city planning Deborah Bryden. Deputy manager of financial strategy and sustainability Barry Lacey, far right, has also now decided not to renew his contract. City clerk Jim Nicol, second from right, remains employed by the city.   (Kirk Fraser/CBC - image credit)

The City of Regina's deputy manager of financial strategy and sustainability is leaving his post — meaning that every city executive who was in place at the start of 2022 has now either been fired, retired or quit.

In a statement, city manager Niki Anderson confirmed Barry Lacey has decided not to renew his contract. Friday is Lacey's final day with the city.

Anderson thanked Lacey, who was hired by the city in 2017, for his years of service.

"On behalf of the City of Regina, I would like to thank Barry for his many contributions to our community and his commitment to our organization," said Anderson. The search for Lacey's replacement will begin soon, she said.

Barry Lacey is the City of Regina's deputy city manager of financial strategy and sustainability
Barry Lacey is the City of Regina's deputy city manager of financial strategy and sustainability

Barry Lacey has decided not to renew his contract as the City of Regina's deputy manager of financial strategy and sustainability. (City of Regina)

The trend of executive turnover began in February 2022, when city council voted 9-1 to fire city manager Chris Holden.

Holden received nearly $850,000 in remuneration as part of his termination without cause, making him the highest-paid Regina employee in 2022, despite only being employed by the city for two months of that year.

Diana Hawryluk, who was Regina's executive director of city planning and community development, worked with the city for more than 10 years before she and the city "mutually agreed to part ways" in March 2022.

Louise Folk retired from her role as director of planning on June 30, 2022, making her the third senior executive to leave in the first six months of 2022.

Kim Onrait retired as the city's executive director of citizen services on May 31, 2023, and city solicitor Byron Werry retired in June 2023.

Finances under a microscope

The city's finances have come under the microscope during Mayor Sandra Masters's term in office.

Masters led the charge to establish an audit and finance committee for council, repeatedly saying she wanted to make it easier for laypeople and councillors to understand the state of the city's finances.

She has also harshly criticized the decision to include large infrastructure projects at the Regina exhibition grounds in the budget of Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL).

Buildings such as the Brandt Centre, Mosaic Stadium and AffinityPlex are in disrepair, and REAL has repeatedly had to defer the necessary maintenance for the buildings due to budget constraints.

Back in 2019, the maintenance was estimated to cost $44 million, according to a report by Stantec. As officials with the City of Regina have repeatedly pointed out on other projects, inflation likely means the current cost would be much higher.

Masters has repeatedly said that the repairs will ultimately need to be paid out by the City of Regina and says they should have been listed as an asset of the city, rather than REAL's responsibility.