Qualicum Beach’s CAO retires at 53

Mark Brown has been working for the town since 1980 and has been at the top of the organizational chart since 1990

The Town of Qualicum Beach is looking for a new boss.

The town issued a news release Wednesday stating Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Mark Brown is retiring “after more than three decades of dedicated service to the town.”

Brown, is only the second CAO of the town since 1966, having succeeded Leo Klees in 1990. Since his first day in April of 1980, Brown has held a number of positions with the town, including clerk, treasurer, collector and approving officer.

Brown was the CAO overseeing a number of high-profile projects in the town, including the construction of the Civic Centre and airport terminal in 1992.

He was the project manager for the municipal hall, library and town square development completed in 1997. Brown also helped negotiate with the provincial government, the Regional District of Nanaimo and the respective residents’ associations the incorporation of both Eaglecrest and Chartwell into the town boundaries.

Brown was recently awarded with the Diamond Jubilee medal from the Governor General of Canada in recognition of his contributions to Canada.

Despite repeated requests Wednesday, the town would not provide attribution to a number of comments on the news release it issued, and it would not confirm Brown’s age, which unconfirmed reports had him at 53.

As for any interim CAO and the search for Brown’s successor, Corporate Administrator Trudy Coates sent this in an e-mail, separate from the news release:

“John Marsh is the Financial Administrator/Deputy CAO which includes full responsibility as the CAO in the absence of the CAO, and, as such, will be performing the CAO duties. There are no immediate recruitment plans for 2013; however, Council will review this in spring/summer 2014.”