EDITORIAL: CAO leaves Parksville in good shape

Council must now find a replacement for the top job at city hall

Parksville city council faces the most important decision of its time in office as it searches for a replacement for retiring chief administrative officer Fred Manson.

Luckily for the busy, part-timers who sit at the council table, Manson leaves a solid, professional base, a house that will not crumble — his leadership has provided a firm foundation.

Some might say the decisions surrounding the water treatment plant are the most important things this council will consider, but we disagree. The treatment of Parksville’s water has been mandated by Island Health — it’s not like the city can choose not to spend the taxpayers’ money on this project.

The hiring of a good CAO could have much longer lasting effects, as would the hiring of a less-than-stellar CAO.

Manson is leaving the city in good shape. Financially, the city is strong and, perhaps more importantly, it has a plan for the replacement of important infrastructure in the decades ahead. What’s more, Manson leaves this legacy despite dwindling financial help from senior governments and city councils that increasingly want to hold the line on tax increases. In Old Testament language, Manson has made bricks, and set the city up to make bricks way into the future, without straw.

Often, a leader is only as good as his lieutenants. As CAO, Manson is ultimately responsible for the hiring of all city employees. He’s done a good job in this regard too, again in a time of dwindling resources and the downloading of responsibilities from senior governments.

Reporters and editors like to write stories about government fat. We are not able to do that often, if at all, in Parksville — Manson has run a lean operation, mostly because he has to. Still, he seems to get the most out of his hires and that takes skill and a level of respect from department heads that is earned, not given.

City council will undoubtedly look for a new CAO that can earn that respect and keep the good ship Parksville on its fiscally-responsible path. What else should it look for in a new CAO? Councillors should gather that information from constituents. Whomever is chosen, it’s our hope the new CAO will not treat the politicians who come and go as a nuisance (Manson didn’t) — our democratic structure depends on the people’s representatives making the key decisions, not unelected staff.

We wish Fred Manson the best in whatever he decides to do with the many years he has left and thank him for a job well done.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

Parksville council won’t ban single-use plastic bags

Politicians vote 6-1 against proposed bylaw

History: The architectural legacy of Sam Little

Designs leave legacy in Qualicum Beach, other Island locales

Qualicum Beach doles out Community Awards

Jacobson is Citizen of the Year; new mayor Wiese named top newsmaker

Finalists announced for annual Business Achievement Awards

Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce honours individuals, businesses

Parksville artist aims to produce zero waste with creations, business

Margie Preninger even dabbled with dryer lint years ago

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

B.C. man in wheelchair following police shooting

“Shots were fired by police and the Kelowna man was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.”

Peter Tork, Monkees’ lovable bass-guitar player, dies at 77

Tork, Micky Dolenz, David Jones and Michael Nesmith formed the made-for-television rock band

From a drunk judge to Clifford Olson: George Garrett recounts a life in B.C. news radio

New book from ‘Intrepid Reporter’ George Garrett offers readers a glimpse behind the headlines

Wife remembers B.C. man killed in possible case of mistaken identity

Rex Gill was in Kamloops working to support his family after oilfield job dried up

Early morning shooting in Courtenay

Reporter at taped-off scene outside apartment complex

One dead, two seriously injured in Hwy 4 crash west of Port Alberni

A man has died following a single-vehicle collision west of Port Alberni… Continue reading

Millennial men least likely to have a family doctor: Statistics Canada

Report found more women have primary care physicians, compared with men

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

Most Read