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Godfrey retiring in June

Personnel changes taking place at municipal hall



The man who helped usher the Olympics into Whistler is retiring at the end of June, the municipality confirmed Tuesday.

Jim Godfrey, formerly the administrator at the Resort Municipality of Whistler and more recently the executive director for Whistler's 2010 Games office, has confirmed he's retiring in two months' time. He was not available for an interview.

Godfrey began his career in parks and recreation departments, working in communities such as Burnaby, North Vancouver, Sparwood and Maple Ridge. He assumed the post of deputy administrator for the Township of Langley in 1981 and became its administrator two years later.

He joined the Resort Municipality of Whistler in 1996, assuming the post of administrator. While in that role he oversaw the development and implementation of Whistler 2020, the resort community's long-range sustainability plans. Though he didn't work alone to adopt it, he nevertheless served as administrator when it was brought on.

Godfrey won numerous awards while serving as administrator including the Willis Award for Innovation from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators and the CH2M Hill Sustainable Community Award from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

The Resort Municipality of Whistler won first place for Planning for the Future and a silver award for Livable Communities from the International Awards for Liveable Communities. Godfrey himself also won the Fraser Institute's Economy in Government Competition, which evaluates proposals on how to reduce the costs of government programs through restructuring or privatization.

Godfrey left the administrator's role in 2004 to work full time as executive director of the 2010 Games Office, where he took charge of planning the Games for Whistler. In 2006 he delivered to council a strategic framework that served as a blueprint for Whistler's participation in the 2010 Games.

He came to a standstill with Whistler council in December of 2008 as a new council stalled on a bylaw that would allow Temporary Commercial Use Permits (TCUP) within the municipality, permits that would allow VANOC to set up temporary structures at five locations in Whistler.

Council stalled on the bylaw because VANOC, in an attempt to cut costs, decided not to hold medal ceremonies at Celebration Plaza. Godfrey told council at the time that it could be making a "real mistake" by not passing the bylaw.

Council later held an in camera meeting with Godfrey, as well as VANOC CEO John Furlong and executive vice-president Terry Wright. Council later passed the bylaw with no questions asked and the medals ceremonies returned.

With a salary of $250,582.22, Godfrey leaves the municipality as its highest-paid employee.

Other personnel changes at the municipality have seen Keith Bennett leave his position as general manager of resort experience. Jan Jansen officially replaced him on April 1.

Jansen most recently served as project construction manager at the Whistler Sliding Centre. Prior to that he was a parks planner at the municipality.

Bennett, meanwhile, was appointed president and chief executive officer of the Whistler 2010 Sport Legacies Society last year. The legacies society is a non-profit organization that will own and manage the Whistler Sliding Centre, Whistler Olympic/Paralympic Park and the Whistler Athletes' Centre now that the Games are finished.

A spokeswoman for the municipality said the municipality actually has more staff now than it did during the Games because it has already started hiring for the spring and summer. She went on to say that people were redeployed to different jobs during the Games and that contractors were hired, but overall staff numbers didn't increase during the Games.


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