The City of Revelstoke has appointed Evan Parliament as Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) on an interim basis.
Parliament was first hired as CAO for the town of Bentley, Alta. in 1991. He came to B.C. in 2003, and has since had postings in Summerland, Sooke and, most recently, Sicamous. He was town manager in Sicamous for approximately seven years, and held the position as CAO in Sooke for over five years.
Parliament said his goal for the City of Revelstoke is to improve communication between staff, local businesses and the community. In spite of his appointment coming less than two months before the general local election, Parliament went on to add the timing is good because it will give him a better picture of the city’s key issues facing the next council.
Having spent years in Sicamous, Parliament said he’s familiar with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and its needs.
According to Parliament, his experiences in similar positions in communities throughout the province have given him the tools to tackle Revelstoke’s pressing community issues, especially in tourism.
Parliament said he was contacted about the position by current interim CAO Ron Mattiussi, who has committed his services to another municipality.
Mayor Gary Sulz said the reason for appointing Parliament on an interim basis at this time is to help guide staff through the election process, and then to give the next council a chance to weigh their options in appointing somebody to the position permanently.
“The community is going through CAO fatigue,” said Parliament. “They’re done with the revolving door.”
Parliament is the latest in a long line of individuals to hold the CAO position at the City of Revelstoke since 2019.
The city announced the resignation of CAO Allan Chabot in June of 2019. Chabot reportedly moved on to pursue other career opportunities, and was hired on as CAO in Osoyoos shortly thereafter. Chabot had been Revelstoke’s administrator from 2015 until his resignation.
Then came Dawn Low, a longtime employee for the City of Revelstoke, which included 21 years in the finance department and in corporate administration. Low held the position of CAO for just under two years, resigning in May of 2021.
The position was briefly filled by Chris Marshall in Aug. 2021. Controversially, after the city announced his appointment, Marshall declined the position, citing “personal” and “family” reasons.
James Thackray held the position for four months between Oct. 2021 and Mar. 2022.
Ron Mattiussi has covered the position on an interim basis during transition and recruitment periods.
“It’s a big problem across the country in small towns, not just Revelstoke,” said Parliament about the city’s difficulties in filling the position.
Although he has also been appointed on an interim basis, Parliament said his first impressions of the staff and the community have been good, and he spoke of the possibility of staying on past the election.
“I want to give the community a chance to get to know me over the next 60 days and let the new council decide,” added Parliament.