Kitimat’s Chief Administrative Officer Ron Poole is moving on to the District of Mission, while Kitimat’s deputy CAO Warren Waycheshen fills in as Kitimat’s interim CAO.
The District of Kitimat announced Poole’s departure May 5.
On his departure, effective May 29, Poole said there was a mix of reasons to go, which essentially boiled down to his desire to spend more time with his family.
“I’m looking forward to a new change,” he added.
The move is bittersweet for Kitimat Council, especially Mayor Phil Germuth who credited Poole for doing so much over the last four years.
“We’re sorry to see him go, but we definitely appreciate Ron’s four years with the District and we wish him all the best in his new position in Mission,” said Germuth. “There is no doubt Kitimat is much better off for having had Ron for these four years.”
Germuth pointed to the improved relationships with the provincial government, with the Haisla Nation and industry as well as part of Poole’s legacy in Kitimat.
“I know that, just myself having gotten to know Ron and learned from him these last four years…I know I can do a better job of representing Kitimat because of what I’ve learned from [him].”
Poole added that he has thoroughly enjoyed his four years being in Kitimat.
“We have loved Kitimat since we’ve been here. Regardless of a strike or anything else, we’re not leaving here with any ill feelings,” he said.
Germuth said that in this circumstance there is no severance package that is to be paid out to Poole, given that it’s a voluntary departure by him.
As for who will be Kitimat’s next CAO, the mayor says that will be a discussion taking place in the next few weeks.
“We’ll be discussing that down the road,” he said, not dismissing the possibility of Waycheshen remaining in the position.
“Certainly all of council have a lot of respect for Warren,” he said, noting his work history shows he has the background to be able to be CAO.
Poole of course is leaving in the midst on the ongoing municipal strike which began February 28.
Poole had been heading the negotiations before the District of Kitimat hired the services of a third-party negotiator to take on that task.
Germuth said Poole leaving shouldn’t have any impact on any furthering bargaining given the town’s use of the third-party.
“I don’t see that this is going to hinder any possible collective agreement getting signed at all,” he said.