The City of Penticton has quietly made a switch in one of its top managers, swapping Chief Financial Officer Doug Leahy with Colin Fisher, formerly the city’s controller and vice versa.
City manager Annette Antoniak said the switch is not related to the performance of either employee, but rather was done at Leahy’s request.
“Doug approached me over a month ago and asked if I would consider doing the switch between himself — the CFO — and the controller’s position,” said Antoniak.
“He felt that with the time commitment in doing the CFO job, he was having difficulty with getting a proper life work balance.”
Antoniak confirmed that Fisher would agree to the switch and then brought it to council for consideration at an in-camera meeting.
“Council did agree to it, providing we had a six-month trial period to make sure it worked,” said Antoniak. “So that trial period is to Dec. 31 of this year.”.
Fisher’s primary duty, since he was hired about two years ago, is overseeing the city’s financial productivity software conversion. Antoniak said that was another reason for the six-month probation.
“Because Colin has been focused on the software conversion he wanted to appropriately spend time with Doug to learn the other piece of the job as CFO,” said Antoniak.
Antoniak admitted that even though Fisher has replaced Leahy at the council table as well as taking responsibility for the city’s multi-million dollar budget, there were no plans to publicly acknowledge the change.
“It’s a sensitive situation,” said deputy mayor Wes Hopkin, citing the land, labour, legal clause for in-camera items.
Antoniak said an announcement would have been made in January, once the six-month trial was up.
“I think we were trying to respect Doug’s wishes,” said Antoniak, admitting that in hindsight, an acknowledgement of the very public change should have been made. “You don’t want to set anyone up to fail either.”