Municipal government

Valemount CAO chosen to lead Nakusp municipal government

Nakusp’s new executive director says the village struck him as special when he first came to British Columbia two decades ago.

“For me, Nakusp has always been a very interesting place,” says Wayne Robinson. “It’s not a tourist community per se, but it attracts a lot of tourism. It’s a great mix between a community that is for the residents, for the people of the region, but which also invites a lot of people to the region.

“The other thing that I find interesting is that the village has a regional vocation. It works great with the surrounding area and is something I really appreciate. Collaboration leads to success.

Robinson’s hiring was announced late last month by Mayor Tom Zeleznik and Nakusp Council. He was hired after a five-month search to replace former CAD Cheryl Martens, who left for personal reasons last spring.

Robinson will join the village of Nakusp with a mix of experience in the private and public sectors, the council wrote in a press release. A former guide and resort manager, he also worked for almost 10 years in local administration. He has held leadership positions in Ashcroft, Lillooet and most recently in Valemount, a resort village in East Kootenay.

His last two years at Valemount have given him first-hand experience of some of the major issues facing his newly adopted community.

“[Valemount’s] I worked on the creation of a geothermal district heating system and on housing issues that plague many communities in British Columbia, ”said Robinson. “We have worked to increase the number of units through a new zoning by-law and an official community plan. ”

Robinson also spearheaded a new Valemount settlement allowing people to temporarily live in RVs, to alleviate the local housing shortage. Such a settlement was identified as something Nakusp needed last year.

He will also have to take care of the control of the list of the priorities of the administration. The village currently has 60 identified ‘priorities’, and Acting CEO Linda Tynan warned council staff are already working beyond sustainable capacity and called for a meeting to re-prioritize the to-do list.

“I take inspiration from the advice, of course,” Robinson says of this question. “But when I look at the strategic priorities of the board, a lot of them are quite similar. They almost repeat themselves. So a big part of what we have to do with the priorities is to refine them, to break them down into smaller pieces that we can move towards.

“I’m no stranger to working on strategic council priorities… it’s hard for councils to articulate what they want the community to achieve, or the direction they want to go. So maybe I can help them with that.

In addition to his experience as a general manager, Wayne has a solid background in business administration and experience in providing municipal recreation services.

“Wayne’s background is a perfect fit for Nakusp,” said Mayor Zeleznik. “He brings a mix of experience, education and energy to the CAD role. I have no doubts that he will provide strong leadership to the staff in our village and work closely with the council to ensure that the many priorities of the community continue to move forward.

Robinson is delighted to take on this challenging leadership position and take an active role in managing local government services for the village of Nakusp.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as the general manager of the village of Nakusp,” said Robinson. “My wife Tracey and I look forward to taking advantage of all that Nakusp has to offer, meeting new people and becoming active members of the community.”

Robinson will begin his duties with the village of Nakusp in November. Her first job, however, is one that faces anyone hired at Nakusp – finding a place to live.

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