The Regional District of Nanaimo is on the hunt for a new chief administrative officer.
Carol Mason, who held the position for more than six years, is leaving to work for Metro Vancouver.
Mason said the RDN is “an incredible place to work and she absolutely loves her job,” but she wants to broaden her scope and take on more challenges.
She’ll continue to work on issues of wastewater management and drinking water protection in Vancouver, but will also work on air quality issues and with a housing authority to provide low-cost housing.
Mason started working for the City of Nanaimo in 1991 before moving to the RDN in 1993. She worked briefly for the City of Nanaimo again in 1995 and then returned to the regional district.
She has overseen utilities management, finance, corporate administration, human resources, project management and strategic planning.
She starts working for Metro Vancouver Sept. 4. Her departure means the RDN board is searching for a new chief administrator.
Joe Stanhope, RDN chairman, said because it’s a personnel issue, the board will discuss the job opening in-camera. The board was scheduled to meet Wednesday.
“We need a key person. We need a top-notch person – a problem solver,” said Stanhope.
“We’ve got to make sure that we have the best person available for the job.”
Having the right person is important because the RDN is on the leading edge of many initiatives, such as waste management and the green bin program, and is becoming a leader in green communities.
Stanhope said Mason was a key player in ensuring the different parties that comprise the regional district communicated and worked effectively together.
The district has lost some of its top talent in the past few months, with the impending departure of Mason and the recent retirement of both Nancy Avery, general manager of finance and information services, and Maureen Pearse, senior manager of corporate administration.
Stanhope said there was some reorganization in-house to cover those departures.
Wendy Idema is the new director of finance, taking over Avery’s responsibilities, and Joan Harrison, who worked as the City of Nanaimo’s manager of legislative services, is now the director of corporate services.