Nfld. & Labrador

PC MHA Steve Kent named new top bureaucrat for Mount Pearl

Steve Kent is the new chief administrative officer for the City of Mount Pearl.

'My commitment to the city of Mount Pearl is unbreakable,' says Kent

Steve Kent arrives at Coffee Matters on Commonwealth Avenue on Monday to formally announce he is accepting the top civil servant job for the City of Mount Pearl. (Terry Roberts/CBC)

Steve Kent the politician is about to become Steve Kent the senior bureaucrat.

The PC MHA for Mount Pearl North is the new chief administrative officer for the City of Mount Pearl.

"My commitment to the city of Mount Pearl is unbreakable," Kent said Monday afternoon at an event where he formally announced he had accepted the new role. 

He joked the speech was his last political one for a "long, long time."

With his wife and three small children at his side, Kent, 39, made the announcement in front of dozens of supporters at a coffee shop Monday afternoon.

He will officially step into the role on Oct. 10 and leave behind a political career that began when he was first elected to Mount Pearl city council at the age of 19.

He went on to serve as mayor and deputy mayor before making the leap to provincial politics in 2007, winning a total of six municipal and provincial elections during his political career.

Kent had openly talked about challenging for his party's leadership, but said this opportunity was too good to pass up.

He said he also sensed a need for renewal inside the party, with a "fresh face" taking it into the future.

"For the better part of the last decade, I've been completely unwilling to even entertain other possibilities," said Kent.

"Well recently — in light of our family situation, in light of where we are politically, in light of where I am personally in my career and in my life — I felt it was time to be open to some of those possibilities."

'We know Steve well'

"I don't think there's questions on anybody's part that his relationship with Mount Pearl is dramatic. It's significant — and very long-term," Mayor Randy Simms told CBC News Monday.

Mount Pearl North MHA Steve Kent was joined by his family Monday in announcing that he will switch careers to become the new city manager in Mount Pearl. (Terry Roberts/CBC)

Simms said, "We know Steve well," and said Kent's education, management experience in the non-profit and business sector, and his political roles at the most senior levels "set him apart" from a field that includes applicants from across Canada.

Kent's annual salary for his new job is $195,000 — more than double his current MHA salary of about $95,000. 

"This is not a thing that you can take on part-time," Simms said, referencing Mount Pearl's population of more than 23,000 and annual budget of roughly $50 million.

About the Author

Terry Roberts is a journalist with CBC's bureau in St. John's.