The District of Sechelt has hired a new director of corporate services, Chris Connor, who will fill the position previously covered by interim corporate officer Gerry van der Wolf.
Connor is a lawyer and member of the British Columbia and Alberta bar associations who has municipal experience working for the City of Calgary.
He worked in the Calgary law department for about four years and has also been legal counsel to private industry in the past.
“Certainly we were attracted by his range of skills. He’s got the municipal experience, he’s got the pure legal experience, and he’s got commercial legal experience. So he’s worked in a law firm, he’s worked in the municipal sector, and he’s worked in the business sector,” Sechelt Mayor John Henderson said.
“Bringing somebody like him onto the team brings an added set of skills that we would normally have to go outside to get hold of.”
Sechelt’s corporate services department carries out administration functions including conducting elections, drafting bylaws and overseeing the operation of some District owned facilities. Connor will have the added job of heading up freedom of information act inquiries and providing occasional legal counsel to the District, Henderson said.
“The first priority, of course, is his corporate officer duties, but I think any of us have abilities, and in his case, if he can use his legal abilities then absolutely we’ll do it,” he said.
Henderson said a headhunter was used to recruit Connor; however, the would-be corporate officer needed to impress, as four other hopefuls were also interviewed for the position.
In the end, council felt Connor was the best fit and accepted a recommendation from staff to hire him on Feb. 7. The news was made public Feb. 18.
Connor moved to Halfmoon Bay from Victoria, where he was working as corporate counsel and corporate secretary for a publicly traded technology company, to take the position.
“So far everyone has been very friendly and kind. I have particularly enjoyed my coworkers here at the District, who have all done everything they can to make me welcome and help out in the transition to this new role and organization,” Connor said.
“The ability to serve the community is what attracted me to civil service, both here and during my time at the City of Calgary,” he noted.