Sooke has extended the contract of Don Schaffer, the district’s interim chief administrative officer, until the end of March.
The former manager of legislative services in Victoria was tapped to serve as Sooke’s top bureaucrat on an interim basis last May after CAO Norm McInnis was diagnosed with cancer.
Following a closed-door meeting on Nov. 28, Mayor Maja Tait said Schaffer would remain with the district until March 31. Financial services director Raechel Gray was promoted to deputy chief administrative officer.
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Gray will serve as CAO from April 1 until Dec. 31.
“The district will be entering a period of transition, and we want to ensure our team and the community are in the best position possible with our administration,” Tait said.
Deputy mayor Al Beddows said McInnis is unlikely to return this spring.
“Mr. McInnis has served our community well, and while we hope for his return in good health, there is a lot happening in our community and uncertainty (with personnel) will not set us up for success,” Tait said.
“Right now, we’re looking to finalize our official community plan, working to optimize health resources, facing a housing crisis while also recovering from a global pandemic and responding to climate change, in addition to our day-to-day operations. It’s a lot.”
Gray has served as the director of financial services for the last five years.
Tait said Gray’s appointment would ensure a smooth transition with an anticipated CAO vacancy as the district receives an update from McInnis early next year.
McInnis has served as Sooke’s CAO since July 2019.