Monday, August 20, 2007

Perhaps what they really need is a cat herder

Considering the nature of the member municipalities in wandering off in their own direction and with their own interests, the latest Chief Administrative Officer may be inclined to keep a shepherds staff close at hand.

The new CAO of the Regional District has settled nicely into his new offices having been on the job for a little over a month now. John Holland provided a thumb nail sketch of his duties for the Daily News last week, a brief outline of what he will be doing and what he hopes to achieve at the regional level of government in the North West.

The SQCRD has been a rather trouble plagued institution of late, finding itself in the headlines for personnel matters and large sum buyouts for a former employee who was terminated without cause.

Holland takes over from Tana Lee Hesse who left her interim post at Regional District to take on duties for Mayor Herb Pond at City Hall. She had taken over at Regional District after the very messy and very public termination of Janet Beil earlier in the year.

Holland most recently served as the CAO of Stewart and is looking forward to the challenges of his step up, judging by the varying interests of the member municipalities of the regional district; and the degree of suspicion around the place we would suspect that challenges will be coming his way.

John Holland arrives from the city of Stewart
By Christian Webber
The Daily News
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Page three

The Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District’s new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) said his new job is a lot of work, but he likes living in Prince Rupert.

Formerly the CAO for the city of Stewart, John Holland has been in his new position since July 16.

He moved to Prince Rupert after a Canada-wide search by the local regional district office to find a new administrator.

Holland has an MBA and a lot of experience in municipal government. He had experience in Nunavut and the North West Territories working for municipal government.

He has also worked quite a bit with smaller First Nations communities.

After working for four years in Stewart, he said it was time to take a step up and it was time for a change.

Holland relieved Tana Lee Hesse from here interim position as CAO.

The district began seekng a new CAO after the board terminated former administrator Janet Beil without cause.

Holland said he expects the new position will be more of a challenge. Stewart was just one municipality and the regional district, encompasses many municipalities and areas, said Holland.

The ten member board includes five municipalities and five regional areas. It encompasses an area of 19,933 square kilometers, a land mass larger than some European countries.

“It’s broader in scope that the other, which is just one municipality,” said Holland.

Holland will be working on projects on the Queen Charlotte Islands and the Prince Rupert area.

He said among his responsibilities are controlling the financial situation of the district, working with the board and trying to execute plans and managing the day-to-day operations of the regional district.

As for living conditions, he said that compared with Stewart, there is a lot more activity here – more restaurants, hotels and people.

“I like the city, it is picking up and it’s nice place to live,” said Holland.

Holland said he is just starting to develop his plans and he isn’t a position to comment on the district’s future priorities.

Right now, he just needs to become familiar with what is going on and what the board’s priorities are.
However, he did say he “would like to see the district operating more efficiently and effectively.”

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