Councillor Kristi Wells calls the move a band aid solution
Long-time municipal employee Bill Barratt has been hand picked to fill a brand new position at municipal hall: deputy administrator.
Barratt, the general manager of community services, will now oversee the day-to-day operations of the municipality in his new role, leaving administrator Jim Godfrey to stay focused on key high level priorities.
"This isnt the first adjustment that weve made to our senior team since Ive been mayor and Jims been here," said Mayor Hugh OReilly, after last weeks announcement.
"This is probably a more significant one in many respects because it really speaks to the need of the administrator to be really focused right now on these key objectives... the Olympics, (provincial) relationships, financial tools. Those things are taking lots of attention and time and those are key priorities of council."
The creation of a deputy administrators position has been in the cards since the summer, particularly after the 2010 Olympic announcement on July 2, said OReilly.
Godfrey chose Barratt to fill the position of deputy administrator to manage some of the workload of the administrators position. Barratt will bring 20 years experience at municipal hall to the job.
His first job for Whistler was as a construction foreman of the Valley Trail system. He then moved up to director of Parks and Recreation, overseeing the development of venues like the Meadow Park Sports Centre, Rainbow Park, Spruce Grove Park, and the skateboard park.
He also assumed the role of Interim Administrator for about a year during the mid-nineties when the previous administrator left.
"It was challenging," he said, thinking back.
"I was basically sort of steering the ship until they found a replacement. I had no interest at the time in taking on that position.
"For the experience it was great."
Now he is looking forward to the challenge of managing the daily operations at municipal hall, with the general managers of operational and service divisions reporting directly to him.
"Change is good and were heading into a pretty exciting period in our community, certainly with the Olympics coming and the CSP (Comprehensive Sustainability Plan) process," he said.
"So theres a lot going on and you know, I love this place. Its such a fantastic place to live and work.
"I feel sort of blessed to have had that opportunity to have been here and seen Whistler change over the years so, Im really looking forward to it quite frankly."
The new position marks the first time Whistler has ever had a deputy administrator. It is a salaried position, unlike the administrators position, which is under contract for a specified time. Godfreys contract will come up for renewal in March after seven years on the job.