Administration is growing thin in numbers at the District of Sicamous.
On Jan. 16, the News received a formal announcement from Mayor Darrell Trouton that council had terminated the district’s contract with former Chief Administrative Officer Alan Harris, and that deputy manager Mary Geall had announced she would be taking early retirement. She isn’t alone.
Community planner Steve Noakes has also tendered his resignation, with the intention of taking early retirement. Noakes was unwilling to comment any further on the matter.
A Jan. 23 news release from the District of Sicamous and Mayor Darrell Trouton notes that Noakes’ knowledge and planning skills will be missed and council wishes him a “very happy retirement.”
“Council again would like to acknowledge district staff’s dedication and support, and hopes that staff will continue to take up the slack during this short period of restructure and change,” says Trouton in the release. “Council would also like to inform that there have been lots of very reputable resumés sent in for the interim position of CAO (chief administrative officer).”
Asked if he was surprised by Noakes’ announcement, made the week before last, Trouton said it wasn’t entirely expected, but understandable.
“You know, we’ve made some changes around here and you have to expect that not everybody is going to be for it,” said Trouton. “Steve is retirement age as well, and doing what we’re doing isn’t easy, so you have to remember, if you’re at retirement age, why would you want to go through changes?
“I enjoyed Steve. He did a good job for the community. This was kind of a semi-retirement position when he came here. He was only working in the office three days a week.”
Noakes, who will continue working with the district until the beginning of March, was brought in as community planner in the summer of 2010, taking on some of the tasks previously performed by former development services manager Charles Nash, who was let go in Jan. 2009. Nash’s departure was preceded by the retirement of former district administrator Karen Williams in April 2008.
Trouton says the district will undergo an independent assessment, which would look at district operations and the question of whether or not the district should take on another full-time administrator to replace Harris.
Trouton noted the district is researching candidates for a complete organizational review.
The district completed its last corporate or mini-governance review at the beginning of 2008.