April 15, 2024

Hunter is the sixth CAO of the RMWB since 2013. This turnover has develop into a standard development amongst Alberta’s municipalities

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An engineer who is not any stranger to the Regional Municipality of Wooden Buffalo (RMWB) has been employed as the brand new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).

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Henry Hunter, president and CEO of Wooden Buffalo Housing, was introduced as the brand new CAO on Thursday. Hunter was additionally the municipality’s govt director of public infrastructure and planning on the RMWB between February 2012 and June 2014.

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“This area has been my residence for over a decade, and I’ve a vested curiosity in serving to to understand its full potential,” mentioned Hunter in a press release. “We’ve got plenty of work forward, and I’m excited to get began.”

Hiring a brand new CAO was the duty of Mayor Sandy Bowman and councillors Ken Ball, Kendrick Cardinal, Jane Stroud and Funky Banjoko.

“As somebody who has lived right here for a few years, Henry understands the challenges and alternatives within the area,” mentioned Bowman in a press release. “His expertise in excessive profile positions throughout quite a lot of sectors and data of the neighborhood might be very useful at this necessary time.”

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Hunter has held administration positions with the Metropolis of Winnipeg, Earth Tech Canada and Qatar Petroleum. After leaving the RMWB, he was employed as Keyano Faculty’s vice chairman of Capital Tasks and Amenities Operations.

His seven years with Wooden Buffalo Housing had been transformative. Excessive vacancies on the organizations compelled Hunter to adapt to altering inhabitants fashions and the way the group was run. Hunter additionally signed agreements and joined plans to enhance housing within the rural and Indigenous communities of the area.

“I look ahead to taking over this new function with the municipality and I’d prefer to thank council for his or her confidence in my capability to steer the group,” Hunter mentioned in a press release. “I’d additionally prefer to thank my Wooden Buffalo Housing Board and senior administration in supporting me by way of this transition.”

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The Jubilee Centre in downtown Fort McMurray on March 6, 2022. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Right now/Postmedia Community jpg, FM

Sixth CAO of the RMWB in 10 years

Hunter’s resignation from the RMWB got here amidst a shakeup of how senior administrative employees are paid and recruited on the municipality.

Paperwork obtained by way of Freedom of Info laws by the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation discovered the RMWB provided 14 managers—together with Hunter—housing stipends value a mixed $447,494.84 between Jan. 1, 2011 by way of September 2013.

The RMWB defended these bonuses as mandatory. On the time, Fort McMurray was rising quickly however the RMWB had bother filling senior positions. The municipality argued the beneficiant salaries and advantages had been wanted to lure certified employees.

Council was shocked on the generosity of those advantages and salaries, particularly after studying of the huge salaries and journey bills given to senior employees and visiting consultants. The incidents led to an audit of the RMWB’s administration construction by the accounting agency KPMG.

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Hunter is the RMWB’s sixth CAO up to now 10 years. This turnover is frequent throughout Alberta. The College of Calgary’s Faculty of Public Coverage says the typical CAO’s tenure in Alberta has been roughly two years since 2003.

Glen Laubenstein was CAO from 2010 to 2014. He was succeeded by Marcel Ulliac, who retired in 2016. Annette Antoniak held the place till she abruptly resigned in 2020. It was later revealed most councillors on the time voted to fireplace her. Jamie Doyle was promoted to the highest job till he left for a job in Nova Scotia.

The latest CAO, Paul Thorkelsson, was fired by councillors in July after lower than 11 months on the job. Jody Butz, regional hearth chief and the municipality’s emergency administration director, was interim CAO till Hunter’s hiring.

-with recordsdata from Aimée Harper and Marty Klinkenberg

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