Tim Pley, the City of Port Alberni CAO, retired Dec. 31, 2021 after 31 years of service to the city, and is returning to the position temporarily as of April 2022. Pley was hired as the CAO in 2016. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)

Tim Pley, the City of Port Alberni CAO, retired Dec. 31, 2021 after 31 years of service to the city, and is returning to the position temporarily as of April 2022. Pley was hired as the CAO in 2016. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)

Tim Pley returns as CAO for Port Alberni after brief retirement

Council decides to bring back CAO to get them through to October 2022 election

Tim Pley is returning as the City of Port Alberni’s chief administrator officer, not even four months after he retired from the position.

Despite a three-month search for a replacement, during which time city director of development services Scott Smith stepped in as acting CAO, the city was unsuccessful in finding a permanent replacement.

Pley worked as the city’s CAO from 2016 to the end of 2021. In December, after Pley announced he would retire at the end of the year, the city hired Leaders International (a professional executive search firm) to assist in finding a new CAO. Several applicants were considered but none were considered suitable for the position.

“We are so happy to have Tim back and excited that he was willing to come back,” Mayor Sharie Minions said.

“Our intent is for (Tim) to work until Dec. 31. We’ve signed a contract with him to work as CAO until that time.” If a suitable replacement is found before the end of December then Pley’s contract will be revised. He will return to work on April 12.

Minions said given Pley’s experience, it puts the city in a strong position to have him on board.

“Although best efforts were applied in this initial executive search, council will now defer the hiring process to enable council to continue to focus on key initiatives and projects already underway,” she said. “We expect deferring the hiring decision until after the municipal election will also help deliver the strongest possible field of candidates in our search for a new CAO.”

The new council will repost the CAO employment opportunity following the municipal election in October.

Pley said he is happy to be back working with the city, even though it wasn’t his original intent. “This is a change of plans to be sure,” he said.

Smith will remain the deputy CAO, a position he held before Pley’s retirement. He will be busy with his development services role, Minions said: “This is the busiest development season the city has ever had.”



susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

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Municipal GovernmentPort Alberni