London didn't have to look far to find its new city manager.
Sandra Datars Bere has been named the city's next top bureaucrat. Currently the city manager of St. Thomas, Datars Bere will replace Lynne Livingstone in London effective May 6.
“I am thrilled that Sandra has chosen to rejoin the City of London,” Mayor Josh Morgan said in a statement. “I know that her experience and leadership will ensure that our organization and community continue to move forward towards our goals of becoming an even more vibrant, caring, and resilient city. Her experience in the health and homelessness sector will be especially invaluable in the work we are doing as a community.”
Datars Bere previously spent seven years working for the city as the lead of the housing and social services portfolio. She left in 2020 to assume the role as chief administrative officer for Bruce County. Following that she moved on to the position of city manager in St. Thomas.
"I am deeply honored and humbled to have been chosen as the new City Manager for the City of London,” said Datars Bere. “Returning to assume this important role in London, which is my home community, fills me with immense pride and excitement."
The search for a new city manager began in July 2023 when Livingstone announced her retirement after just four years in the role. What followed was an "extensive national search", according to city officials.
At the request of Mayor Morgan, Livingstone, who was supposed to retire in December, agreed to stay on into the new year.
"For that, we owe a great debt to not only Lynne, but her family as well. The legacy she leaves behind is truly unmatched, and her example is one that will continue to guide many, including myself, going forward," Morgan said during last month's State of the City address.
With her replacement announced, Livingstone is now slated to retire as city manager on March 15.