bc-090115-jody-andrews

Jody Andrews was the Vancouver deputy city manager in charge of the Olympic Village before he resigned Thursday. ((CBC))

The deputy city manager overseeing construction of the Olympic Village for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games has resigned.

Jody Andrews' resignation is effective immediately, and no decision has been made on who will replace him, city manager Penny Ballem said Friday.

Ballem sent a note Thursday night to city councillors informing them of the news, media reports said.

Ballem said Friday there was "absolutely" no pressure on Andrews to resign.

She would not elaborate on the reasons Andrews gave, other than to say he felt "unable to carry on his duties."

Voluntary resignation

"I think it's very fair to say that Jody voluntarily resigned. He laid out a number of reasons, but I am not free to discuss those," Ballem said.

Despite the resignations, Ballem said, there is no reason for the public to lose confidence in city hall or the Olympic Village project.

Andrews' resignation came as the village project faces major financial woes. Cost overruns have pushed its price to $875 million.

Fortress Investment Group, which was to lend the $750 million budgeted for the development, stopped advancing cash to builder Millennium Development Corp. in September, and the city has since been covering construction costs with a $100-million bailout loan approved during an in-camera council meeting on Oct. 14.

Negotiations with Fortress to reopen the loan are ongoing, but the city will have to find the money to complete the village by this fall if the negotiations fall through.

3rd top official to go

Andrews is the third senior city official to depart city hall since Gregor Robertson became the new mayor in November's civic elections.

In December, Robertson hired Ballem, a former deputy minister of health for B.C.'s Liberal government, as city manager, replacing Judy Rogers, who had held the job since 1999.

Estelle Lo resigned as the city's chief financial officer days after the municipal elections. She reportedly left because of concerns about the controversial $100-million bailout.

The B.C. legislature will reconvene for a special sitting at noon Saturday to deal with the issue of financing the completion of the athletes village.

Robertson has asked the provincial government to amend the city's charter, giving it authority to borrow the $458 million required to finish the project after Fortress stopped funding it.