Debbie Comis will take over the chief administrator's office at Parksville city hall on Jan. 1

City looks to one of its own for new CAO

Debbie Comis, currently Parksville's director of administrative services, takes over the top job on January 1

Debbie Comis is the City of Parskville’s new chief administrative officer.

Council unanimously approved the appointment of Comis, currently the director of administrative services, Monday night in a closed-door meeting, according to a news release from the city.

Comis, 59, takes over Jan. 1, 2016. In October, the city announced the retirement of long-time chief administrative officer, Fred Manson.

A city spokesperson said the city will “advertise to replace the director of administrative services position.” The spokesperson also said the $50,000 currently in the provisional 2016 budget for “CAO succession” will be removed from the budget.

“Mrs. Comis brings many years of senior local government management experience and expertise to the position of chief administrative officer,” Mayor Marc Lefebvre said in the release issued by the city Tuesday morning. “At times, she has been the acting CAO, more than proving her capability to council, staff and the community. Council is confident in her ability to provide continued good leadership.”

Comis joined the City of Parksville in July 2011 following 25 years local government experience with the City of Burnaby and eight years with the Town of MacKenzie.

“It is an honour to be appointed the city’s next chief administrative officer and to follow in Fred Manson’s footsteps, one of the most dedicated, professional and ethical CAO’s in this province,” Comis said. “I look forward to carrying on his legacy, working with Council, staff and the community as we continue to shape a vibrant, prosperous City for all to enjoy and prosper.”

The city said the CAO provides corporate leadership and direction in the overall management of City departments and also reviews and approves all recommendations made to Council. The CAO works closely with mayor and council and is council’s principal advisory on matters of policy. The CAO is responsible to council for the efficient administration of all municipal activities and ensures Council’s goals and objectives are achieved by providing strategic leadership. The CAO oversees the preparation of annual budgets, programs and policy initiatives and establishes standards and priorities to ensure the consistent delivery of high quality City services. A critical responsibility for the chief administrative officer is to ensure all operations are conducted within the framework of the City’s values and goals. As well, the CAO liaises with other government agencies, provincial and municipal to provide Council with the information they require to develop plans and policies.

— with files from a City of Parksville news release

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