Management change necessary for 2016 projects: Mayor Ruttan

Ken Watson's switch to a newly-created major projects advisor role will help the city and prepare for Watson's retirement.

Now former city manager Ken Watson’s switch to a newly-created major projects advisor role will aid the city in its major 2016 infrastructure initiatives—and prepare him for retirement, said Port Alberni Mayor Mike Ruttan. Port Alberni Fire Chief Tim Pley will act city manager until a replacement is hired.

“He will be an employee of the city until Dec. 31,” said Ruttan. “He’s getting close to retirement and it’s a mutual decision.”

Watson has served at the city for over a quarter-century, first as city engineer and then as city manager. In his new role, Ruttan said that Watson will help the city reduce its reliance on consultants as it takes on three major projects.

“He’s moving into a senior advisory role as well as helping with a series of projects we have on the go,” Ruttan said. “He will be able to provide that advice perhaps in lieu of consultants that we may otherwise hired.

Those projects include the city’s switch over to the former Catalyst sewage lagoon, the Coal Creek outfall and a proposed partnership between the city and the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District to use Sproat Lake as a backup drinking water reservoir for the city.

Using Sproat Lake as backup water source has been considered before. In a 2010 Alberni Valley Regional Water Study Update commissioned by the ACRD, Sproat Lake was selected as the “preferred regional water supply system, on the basis of obtaining a filtration deferral for both sources.”

Ruttan said that the use of Sproat Lake water would help the city—and perhaps the whole Alberni Valley—in the future.

“It ultimately could become the water supply for the entire Valley and as we move further and further down the road of climate change, Sproat Lake water may become increasingly more important.”

As far as changes to city management go, Ruttan said that while Watson’s change of position is only “indirectly” related to the yet-to-be released Judy Rogers management review, more changes will come quickly. The city previously changed Theresa Kingston’s position from director of corporate services to director of community services and moved the information technology department to be under the wing of the finance department.

“The changes are just starting,” Ruttan said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

twitter.com/alberninews

facebook.com/albernivalleynews

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Man extracted from vehicle eight hours after accident near Cameron Lake

People making pit stop at picnic area made crash discovery

Person extracted from vehicle accident in Cameron Lake

A person has been extracted today from a reported vehicle accident in… Continue reading

Learn about Port Alberni’s mayoral candidates with new film series

Alberni Valley filmmaker Dallas Dalziel discusses key issues with candidates

City of Port Alberni issues water quality alert for Kitsuksis Creek area

Kitsuksis Creek residents urged to use alternate drinking water source

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

B.C. man who left hospice to run in upcoming election dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

Most Read