The City of Penticton is once again on the hunt for a new chief administrative officer.
Peter Weeber, who was hired in Nov. 2016, announced Wednesday he was resigning as CAO, though he is not planning on leaving the community.
“I’m staying in the community and I’m working for a private company,” said Weeber. “I would never leave Penticton for another city. This is a great community.”
“I’m really sad we’re going to lose his expertise because I was looking forward to working with him,” said Mayor John Vassilaki, noting that Weeber has a high level of knowledge about city administration, despite being one of the younger people in the profession.
“It will be very difficult to replace him,” said Vassilaki.
“I don’t really blame him for going because big opportunities don’t come around very often and when they do, you got to grab on to them the best you can.”
As CAO, Weeber was there for a number of major issues facing Penticton city hall, including growing issues with homelessness in downtown, flooding, poor communications with the community and the ending of the deal to lease a portion of Skaha Lake Park to private interests.
“The best part of my job is dealing with the community and working through some of those tough files and building the right team,” said Weeber. “We’ve been embroiled in a lot of big files and, for the better part, those files have been resolved.”
Weeber added they have spent a lot of time building a good team in administration and he has confidence they and the new council will be able to carry on.
“No concerns there. And if I was going to leave, this is a good time to do it,” said Weeber. “Life sometimes presents you with a great opportunity and at the end of the day for me, it’s all about family and what’s best.”
Along with corporate services officer Laurie Darcus, Weeber is part of the transition team, who will be bringing in a new CAO.
“I’m going to stick around in some capacity until we have the right person in this position,” said Weeber. “I’m not going to leave the city hanging.
“As long as they need me, I will be there for them. I suspect this transition will go quickly.”
Darcus, who saw Penticton through the 2018 civic election among her other duties, is also leaving.
“I have committed to the end of March, and Laurie is leaving March 8,” said Weeber. Darcus also filled in for Weeber over the last few weeks of 2018, but Weeber said she won’t be moving in full-time.
“I’d give her the job right now, but she gave us a year. She was supposed to be gone in December, but because of my plans, she gave me another few months to help with the transition,” said Weeber.
Vassilaki says he wants to be sure city hall finds somebody that understands the culture of Penticton and city hall and will work in the best interests of the community
“Because he’s been in that field for a while now, he knows all the better people out there. He is going to help us to recruit. Now that we know what he is like, we want somebody that is similar,” said Vassilaki.