Williams Lake hires new CAO

At the close of the council meeting Tuesday Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook officially announced the city has hired a new chief administrative officer who will start July 2, 2013.

Successful candidate Darrell Garceau has worked as a CAO for 19 years in Alberta and B.C, most recently in Westlock, Alta.

“He’s going to be a great addition to our community,” Cook told media after making the announcement. “We are thrilled to have him join our team.

When asked if much of the CAO’s tasks had to be put on hold while general manager of planning and operations Geoff Goodall did his job and acted in the CAO’s position, Cook said Goodall was stellar at doing two jobs.

“Things were not put on hold per se, but the current situation wasn’t sustainable,” Cook said. “Geoff is a man of integrity and really stepped up to the plate over the last months. Council as a whole has appreciated his dedication and commitment to the city.”

On Feb. 5 the city announced it had hired Don DeGagne as CAO, but on Feb. 28 sent out a press release saying the city had changed its mind about hiring him.

Cook said the city re-posted the position March 1 and continued with the process of hiring.

“We had a number of applications, we short-listed, interviewed five people by Skype, short-listed again and interviewed two people,” Cook said. “We offered Darrell the position and he accepted last week.”

On May 8, DeGagne filed a civil claim against the city in the Supreme Court of B.C. stating he was wrongfully dismissed when the city breached his employment contract and terminated him without cause, proper notice or pay in lieu of notice.

The city had 21 days upon receiving the claim to respond or make a counter claim.

Cook said the city was granted an extension past the 21 days, but will be filing soon.

The city has been without a CAO since last fall when Brian Carruthers resigned and accepted a position in Nelson with the Regional District of the Central Kootenays.

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