Castlegar’s new director of corporate services is Tracey Butler, Rossland’s previous deputy chief administrative officer. She began work April 7, replacing the retiring Carolyn Rempel.
“I’m really fortunate that I had such a great education by working in Rossland for 20 years and it’s really nice to be able to bring that over here and to help out,” Butler said.
She said council has been very helpful and supportive in welcoming her to her new role and she looks forward to many years in Castlegar.
Butler said the move isn’t a drastic change but it has it’s differences for sure.
“Castlegar is a larger municipality so it’s less hands on in some departments. So much of it is the same but I’m not involved in the finance side of things, as much as I was in Rossland.”
Butler has filled in for the last year as acting chief administrator in Rossland while Cecille Arnott was away on medical leave. She was previously the corporate officer.
However, Butler’s recent resignation led to criticism of the present mayor by former Rossland councillor and mayoral candidate Jill Spearn, who said the city paid a high price to lose a valuable employee.
Spearn said Butler was entitled to work for two more years under her contract, but residents were left to pay out nearly $200,000.
“The council could have let her contract expire,” Spearn wrote, “and saved that large amount of money. Ms. Butler seized an opportunity to negotiate a payout and now we’ll all pay, when it was unnecessary. Is this good stewardship of our taxpayers money?”
Mayor Kathy Moore countered that Butler’s contract, and the contract of the city’s public works director, were in dire need of change. Council agreed as part of their attempts to reorganize city hall.
“Ms. Butler quit rather than work under the terms of her contract,” Moore said. “That was her prerogative. Technically, the city was not obligated to pay her anything. In honour of her years of dedicated service, council gave her a generous payout.”
Butler’s duties as the city’s corporate officer are outlined in the Community Charter.
Her job involves ensuring that accurate minutes of the meetings of council and council committees are prepared and that the minutes, bylaws and other records of the business of council and committees are maintained and kept safe and that access is provided to records of the council and council committees, as required by law or authorized by the council.
Furthermore, Butler is responsible for administering oaths and taking affirmations, affidavits and declarations required to be taken under any act relating to municipalities and certifying copies of bylaws and other documents, as required or requested.
In addition, she is to accept, on behalf of the council or municipality, notices and documents that are required or permitted to be given to, served on, filed with or otherwise provided to the council or municipality along with keeping the corporate seal, if any, and having it affixed to documents as required.