By Trevor Busch
Taking a page from the fall of the Roman Republic, for the foreseeable future the Town of Taber has appointed an administrative triumvirate to govern decisions and carry on the business of the town, following the departure of CAO Greg Birch.
At their Sept. 12 regular meeting, town council voted unanimously to appoint a team consisting of planning director Cory Armfelt, public works director Gary Scherer, and finance director Devin Wannop as acting chief administrative officers (CAO) and directors of emergency management (DEM) for the Town of Taber, commencing Sept. 17, and alternating the role of CAO and DEM at the team’s discretion.
As a follow up to the Aug. 15 regular meeting, Mayor Henk DeVlieger requested council’s further discussion regarding the appointment of an acting CAO to bridge the gap between former CAO Greg Birch’s employment, and the selection of a new CAO. According to administration, Mayor DeVlieger indicated he had spoken informally to council about their choices to temporarily occupy the office.
Prescribed duties for the triumvirate include insuring town business proceeds in accordance with the Municipal Government Act, related board and commission appointments, and the DEM for the municipality.
The Town of Taber announced that town council had declined to renew former CAO Greg Birch’s contract in mid-June 2016. At the time, Mayor DeVlieger stated council would use an independent consultant to help select the next CAO, and would like to have the new person start in mid-September.
The appointment of an acting CAO enables a municipality to continue with business processes, and is in accordance with the Municipal Government Act and other pertinent legislation.
Council also specified individual appointments for two candidates, with Armfelt to serve as secretary to the Taber Municipal Police Commission and Wannop to serve as secretary to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board.
Administrative roles and responsibilities were also delegated, including the appointment of Wannop for the Town of Taber and CUPE 2038 Management Committee and the Performing Arts Centre Committee; Armfelt to the Protective Services Committee; and Scherer to the Taber Recreation Board.