In only a few days, Marilyn Ball is leaving her role as Mississauga’s Director of Development and Design that she has been in for nine years to become Brampton’s Chief of Planning and Infrastructure Services.
“It’s a logical advancement in my career,” Ball told YourMississaugaBiz.com. “Brampton is really in its growth where Mississauga was 10-15 years ago.”
After nine years in her role at the City of Mississauga, Ball will be working with Brampton’s city manager and overseeing a staff of more than 300 people.
Brampton is also looking at growth within its downtown and transitioning from a very suburban municipality to an urban city.
“They’re dealing with many of the issues that Mississauga is dealing with today,” Ball said, referring to the topic of planned communities created on previously undeveloped land. “I can certainly take my experience from here and bring it to them in Brampton.”
Ball was recruited for the new position through a headhunting firm. However, she did acknowledge the hiring was tied to the City of Brampton’s corporate restructuring.
“They’re having to position themselves to look forward to the future,” she said, “And how they need to be structured and organized to handle the challenges that come with a city that’s that large and continuing to grow.”
If there’s one main thing that Ball is going to bring to her new job in Brampton, it’s the realization of how much things have changed. “The environment that we’re operating in today is not the same environment that Mississauga was operating in a number of years ago,” she said. “There is a better understanding of restraints on a municipality as they are growing out.”
Ball said municipalities will increasingly face difficulty when they no longer have the benefit of development charges and have to maintain existing and aging infrastructure without those funds.
The new Brampton planning chief stressed the importance of proper infrastructure. “You have to be very conscious of sustainability in the development of your city,” Ball said, “We understand and appreciate more in 2013 than we did in 2000.”
To see the importance of infrastructure, Ball said you only need to look at Monday’s storm as well as discussions about climate change and the increasing number of serious weather events in places like Calgary.
Ball starts at her new position on August 19. She will continue to be a resident of Mississauga, and commute by car to her new office.