After a year overseeing the municipality’s financial department and budgeting process, Diane Mombourquette is moving on to another challenge.
Next week she will be working at the soon-to-be-opened Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet on Vancouver Island.
“It’s quite a spectacular project,” said Mombourquette.
Her change, however, leaves a wide hole at municipal hall.
Mombourquette’s position as general manager of economic viability means she is not only in charge of the annual budgeting process and the finance department, but also human resources, IT, legislative services and strategic alliances. More recently, the newly created position of the 2010 Communications Manager also reports to her.
Her position has now been posted internally, as is the custom at municipal hall.
Mombourquette said the change has nothing to do with the controversial 6 per cent property tax increase proposed by council this year — the first significant increase above inflation in recent memory.
The move, however, has everything to do with the right opportunity at the right time.
“This is just an opportunity that I’ve been thinking about and it came along,” she said.
Mombourquette, who began working at the municipality in January 2007 after a nine-year stint at Tourism Whistler, said she has always been interested in the hotel industry, particularly the hands-on contact with customers.
“It’s really the front line customer contact — having a real impact with the end user — I really like the idea of that and that’s actually one of the things I miss. Being here at the municipality, I don’t have much of that frontline contact, most of my contact is with council and with internal clients. I really miss that piece of it.”
The Black Rock Resort is one of five properties managed by the Boutique Hotels of British Columbia, which include the Nita Lake Lodge in Whistler, Oswego Hotel in Victoria, The Cove Beach Resort in Kelowna and The Outback in Vernon.
The 72-room hotel sold out in just four hours in August 2005. It is scheduled to open in June.
Mombourquette, who is originally from Halifax, said she is looking forward to being by the coast once again.
“It’ll be a really big change but, you know what, I moved to Whistler I didn’t know anybody and I didn’t know how to ski and now I’m moving to Ucluelet and I don’t know anybody and I don’t know how to surf,” she laughed. “So I guess I’ll have to buy a good wet suit and give it a go!”
The municipality will be updating its website, www.whistler.ca, by the end of the week with more information on the 2008 Five Year Financial Plan. Members of the public will be able to review the information over the course of the next month.
Council is expected to consider first three readings of the budget bylaws at the Monday, March 17 meeting. Adoption of the bylaws is scheduled for Monday, April 7.