City of Port Alberni searches for CAO

The City of Port Alberni has retained executive search firm Davies Park to recruit a new CAO for the city.

The City of Port Alberni has retained executive search firm Davies Park to recruit a new CAO for the city. The search firm will cost the city $35,000 plus expenses.

Since former city manager Ken Watson was transferred to the temporary role of major projects advisor in January, Port Alberni fire Chief Tim Pley has been acting as CAO since then.

Mayor Mike Ruttan said that the city hired a search firm because they didn’t have the capacity to do the task in-house.

“It really saves a tremendous amount of staff time. We did seriously look at if it was something we could do in-house but we just don’t have the capacity as a city to do that in-house,” said Ruttan. “They will do the background checks with perhaps more than 100 individuals and bring it down to four or five that they feel are a decent fit for us as a community based on the criteria that we’ve established.”

According to Ruttan, local headhunter Stacey Gaiga initially offered up her services to the city for free but timing didn’t work out.

Ruttan said he hopes to have the final candidates interviewed in June and a permanent CAO in place by the end of the summer.

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