News » Whistler

RMOW seeking new chief administrator

Bill Barratt to step down June 30



The search is on for a new chief administrative officer for the RMOW.

Bill Barratt, who has been in the position since 2005, will retire this June.

"The position is posted internally and we encourage people within the organization to apply, but at the end of the day it's the best applicant in a nation-wide search," said Mayor Ken Melamed, the only person on council who has already been through the process of hiring a CAO.

It's likely the process will take three months or so.

"(Barratt's) done an exemplary job," said Melamed.

"Whistler has been very, very fortunate to have two such professional and talented individuals in Jim Godfrey and Bill Barratt after him, since 1996."

It was never a goal of Barratt's to become CAO when he started with the RMOW 29 years ago.

It evolved as organically as these things can while climbing the governmental ladder. He worked hard. He earned the trust and respect of his peers and the community. In 2005, with a stint as director of parks and recreation under his belt, as well as a turn as deputy administrator during the Olympic bid, council hired him as CAO.

"The CAO position was five interviews and they went national," Barratt said at a small press conference Tuesday. "It was a pretty rigorous thing I went through to get the position that I did. I was comfortable here. It's a pretty hard place to leave, actually."

The RMOW confirmed Barratt's retirement on Friday following a flurry of Twitter and Facebook posts about the news. Barratt said Tuesday that he would stay until the end of June to give council ample time to hire a replacement.

"Certainly it's something that I have contemplated for some time," he said Tuesday.

He was hired in 1982 as parks foreman, and as he worked his way through the ranks of the RMOW was at the helm of Whistler's development from a rural mountain town into a resort rife with amenities for locals and visitors alike, including the Valley Trail system, Meadow Park and Village North.

As administrator, Barratt, 58, was pointman when the municipality upgraded the wastewater treatment plant and during the move to composting. He also helped secure Whistler's watermain water supply with a new treatment centre on Alpha Lake Rd.

Under his tenure, many employee housing projects went from being visions to reality. And, of course, he was instrumental in achieving the success of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

"He's been a heavy lifter with the municipality for I don't even know how many years he's been there," said former mayor Drew Meredith who worked with Barratt during Meredith's brief stint at the RMOW in the late 1980s.

Add a comment