City of Colwood hires new top administrator

Ian Howat comes to job with plenty of experience in public administration

The City of Colwood has hired a new chief administrative officer, its fifth permanent or interim CAO since 2012.

Ian Howat replaces interim CAO Gary Nason, who has been serving in the position since April 1. Howat takes up the post on Dec. 7 after finishing his duties as general manager of corporate services with the City of Nanaimo.

He has also served as chief administrator for three other Vancouver Island communities: Ucluelet, Tofino and Lantzville.

Howat was selected after a nationwide recruitment process which began in May. Rather than contracting an external company to vet potential applicants, the City opted to have Nason and another retired CAO co-ordinate the search.

Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton said taking that step saved the City a considerable amount of money. She estimated a professional head-hunting firm would have charged roughly $30,000, but by keeping it in house they spent an estimated $5,000 on the project.

The search yielded more than 90 applicants.

“It was a pretty respectful showing,” Hamilton said, adding that many of the applicants were known to staff. “You’re getting built-in references. Coming out of this we’ve got a pretty good sense.”

She said a lot more than just experience goes into selecting a successful applicant. “We’re really looking to find … someone to fit the family.”

Hamilton said Howat will make a good addition to the team. “Council has plans, the City has plans – we’re trying to mesh those plans. It’s really going to be a good partnership.”

While Hamilton couldn’t disclose details of Howat’s contract, she did say they expect to get “some good years of service” from him. “It’s good to keep the train on the tracks,” she said. She also noted his salary is consistent with comparably sized cities in the region.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Island Corridor Foundation optimistic about restoring rail service

If green-lighted, first priority would be Langford to Victoria route

Students schooled on West Shore RCMP

Presentations cover different elements of policing

Passenger passes out on a bus in Sooke

Man was revived and was alert and coherent

Federal environment minister faces protesters in Saanich

Catherine McKenna defended her government’s environmental record

Food service workers at Victoria airport protest for second time in four months

Negotiations continue to drag on with employer Compass Group Canada, VAA refuses to engage

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Heading soccer balls can cause damage to brain cells: UBC study

Roughly 42 per cent of children in the country play soccer, according to statistics from Heritage Canada

Supreme Court hears case on migrant detainees’ rights to challenge incarceration

Currently, migrants who do not hold Canadian citizenship can only challenge detention through an immigration tribunal or a judicial review.

Canada Post issues new offer to employees as eBay calls on Ottawa to end strikes

Ebay is calling on the federal government to legislate an end to the Canada Post contract dispute, warning that quick action is needed to ensure retailers don’t lose out on critical Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

No G20 member has climate plan strong enough to meet Paris targets: report

Canada’s push to be a world leader in the fight against climate change may be hampered by its distinction for producing the most greenhouse gas emissions per person among the world’s 20 largest economies.

Federal and provincial government spend more dough on ecological ‘Timbits’

Ottawa and Victoria spend $14.65 million completing conservation area in southeastern B.C.

Talent show: B.C. girl, 8, memorizes entire periodic table

Grade 4 student Maya Lakhanpal heads to B.C. talent show finals with unique talent

Most Read