The top picks have been shortlisted in the City of Penticton’s search for a new chief administrative officer.
Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said that the city received a little over 100 applications for the position. Through the selection process, that number was reduced to 15-20 applicants and from there it was shortened to six or seven.
The first formal interviews will begin with those six or seven applicants, he said, which will be conducted by all members of council. The next shortlist will be narrowed to the top two or three applicants, and members of council will then decide who to hire.
Jakubeit said council will become more comfortable narrowing the applicants down after face-to-face meetings, which strongly indicate “his or her abilities and how they communicate, interact and what their philosophies and experiences are.”
In early February, the former CAO, Annette Antoniak, vacated the position and it is now being filled on an interim basis by the city’s general manager of recreation and facilities Chuck Loewen.
“He’s done a great job, and all of management has done a great job adapting to being a man short,” Jakubeit said.
Municipal workers are generally employed by the City of Penticton, the CAO however is an employee of council – and their only employee, Jakubeit said, adding that it’s his or her job to ensure that council’s mandates and directives are being carried out by city staff.
“We’re looking for someone who is entrepreneurial-minded and solution-orientated that fits our comfort level, and somebody that has a good array of public and private sector experience,” he said. “As well as government office experience so he or she really understands the import ants and complexities of being a city managers.”
Jakubeit said the applicants they are after have demonstrated an eclectic amount of qualifications that are needed for the position, which includes looking after a staff of 300, being under a “fishbowl environment” and being accountable to council and the city. Jakubeit said he doesn’t yet know the cost of their search for a new CAO, but it will be released after the process.
“I’m hopeful August or September we would have the new CAO firmly in place, as a loose timeline for the next phase.”
One important staffer that the new CAO will keep regular communication with is the director of development services Jules Hall, who just filled the position as a new recruit earlier this month.
Prior to relocating to the Okanagan, Hall moved from the United Kingdom at the beginning of 2009 to work as a senior planner in the City of Calgary.