Wanted: One CFO, one Building Services Manager

Trent Ernst, Editor

Tumbler Ridge is down a senior manager.

Chris Legget, the District’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has been recruited by the Village of Pouce Coupe to be their Chief Administrative Officer.

Leggett will begin his position in Pouce Coupe on August 1, and has already left the District of Tumbler Ridge.

The departure of Leggett, says District of Tumbler Ridge CAO Jordan Wall, is a significant setback for the Finance Department. “For the first time in almost a decade [the department] had become resourced appropriately for the tasks required of it,” says Wall.

A search for a new CFO has already begun, says Wall, and measures have been taken to ensure the Finance Department can function during the interim. This will mean hiring an experienced consultant to step in as acting CFO.

Wall says a number of important projects based in the Finance Department will likely be delayed or take longer to complete due to the need to find a new CFO willing to come to Tumbler Ridge and the time required to get up to speed on DTR operations.

For instance, the Finance Department had been tasked with creating an RFP for tech services and is the lead department on the Core Services Review. “This departure will affect the ability to create a comprehensive list of services and costs for the 2017 budget season, something the CFO had been working on,” says Wall.

Building Services Manager Ken Klikach has announced he will be retiring at the end of this year or when a replacement is found.

The major effect of this departure, says Wall, will come next year in the District’s asset management plans and ability to deal with the significant challenges at the Community Centre.

“As the Asset Management Committee will see during their meetings, many of the assets rated with a ‘high’ risk factor as well as furthest along in their planning and preparation stages involve the Building Services Manager,” says Wall. “Building upgrades are needed on Town Hall, Public Works, Fire Hall, and Community Centre. The damage that will accrue to these buildings if left unrepaired is substantial.”

Wall says it is possible that these projects can still go forward in 2017 but may need to have a project management component to them. “This will likely exceed the comparable wage component of a staff member,” he says.

The Building Services Manager, says Wall, served a unique and important role in the District overseeing the health of all the buildings as well as managing the maintenance staff for the Community Center.

By filling this role, it allowed the District to not move forward with hiring a new Recreation Director. The Recreation Director vacancy is still in limbo due to current legal challenges. “Until those issues are settled it is difficult to proceed forward with filling the Recreation Director position to oversee the Community Centre operations,” says Wall.

Job descriptions for both the CFO position and the Building Services position are being reviewed and updated. Postings are being drafted for advertising and a recruitment plan is being enacted to seek interested and qualified individuals to fill these senior management positions in Tumbler Ridge.