The “fantastic” geography is one of the reasons Phyllis Carlyle signed on as new Regional District of Nanaimo chief administrative officer.
Carlyle, former City of Richmond general manager of law and community safety, was hired in August and she started her new post Oct. 11.
Carlyle said the Nanaimo area is large and very diverse.
“You have heavily urbanized areas, you have rural areas and so from a governance perspective, that’s very exciting. You’re doing the whole span of municipal services, so you’re not just limited to urban issues. You have to look at the Agricultural Land Commission, the urban-rural interface, you’ve got marine, you’ve got airport uses, so from a professional perspective, it was very exciting,” said Carlyle.
When asked about goals, Carlyle said one of the tenets that guides her is an “absolute belief in open government and public service.” She said she will look at the way the regional district communicates with the public, receives information and will look to ensure that it has dialogue with everyone in the community.
“Part of my responsibilities as chief administrator is to ensure that the employees at the regional district are well served,” said Carlyle. “That they’re happy in what they do and that they provide good service and they provide effective, efficient and economical service as well, so that’s what I’ll be looking for in my tenure here.”
The regional district budget process will run from November to March and that is what is occupying Carlyle’s mind as her new job begins.
“I’m having four solid days of pre-budget discussions with the staff … there’s been a lot of work done already in anticipation of my arrival. We have an excellent chief financial officer [in Wendy Idema] and I have every confidence in her ability to bring forward a fulsome budget for the board’s consideration,” said Carlyle.
Carlyle possesses a law degree from UBC and a master of science degree in environmental studies from the University of Calgary and that coupled with her experience in Richmond will be beneficial in her new job.
“Certainly legal training is crucial. A background in law is very important in terms of assisting any corporation in its workings these days,” Carlyle said.
Carlyle succeeds Paul Thorkelsson, who stepped down last December to become the District of Saanich’s chief administrative officer.