Wilsgard enters Golden CAO position cautiously

The Town of Golden has found their new Chief Administrative Officer in a familiar face.

  • Apr. 16, 2013 1:00 p.m.

The Town of Golden has found their new Chief Administrative Officer in a familiar face.

After unanimously voting in a closed meeting, council offered the position to Jon Wilsgard, who was in the position of manager of corporate services for the Town for the past six years.

“It was a surprise. I thought there would be a recruitment process, and that perhaps I would apply,” said Wilsgard. “I was surprised, I really wasn’t expecting that. It’s a real honour.”

After a long career in government including BC Parks, the Forest Service, and Golden Area Initiatives, Wilsgard finally feels like he is ready for the major responsibility of the CAO position. But he is still moving forward cautiously.

“I have an arrangement with council that I can return to my former position within the next little while, depending on how things go… In fairness to council, I want to make sure I can do this job,” he said.

The Town is facing some challenges moving forward, and Wilsgard would like to take some time with council to evaluate the municipal government’s role in the community.

“One of my focuses with council is going to be really looking meaningfully at what the municipality’s role is. What is it that we do? We are a municipal government that is all over the place, we do tons of different things. And many of the things we do are things that other local governments wouldn’t dream of doing, it’s too much,” he said.

“Right now we’re facing a personnel deficit. We just lost our bylaw officer, and Mag de Grace, our wonderful planning assistant, has just resigned. Taking this job, I am balancing this position with my former job, so there’s a deficit there.”

After less than a week into the new position, Wilsgard is a little nervous about the road ahead of him, but is grateful for both the vote of confidence he has received from council, and the example his predecessors have set for him.

“It’s always good to have predecessors there that you can work from… It’s wonderful when you can work well with someone, and watch what they do. Both David Allen and Phil Taylor were excellent at helping me gain the confidence that I have now,” he said.

And it is the people who he works with, and works for, that make the job worth doing. A public servant at heart, Wilsgard is happiest in a position where he can serve the community. And part of serving the community means having an open line of communication with the municipality.

“I thrive on being able to be someone meaningful in a small community, where I can help as many people as possible. That’s the most important thing for me,” said Wilsgard, adding that having a good staff around him is a key component to that.

“There’s some things I am definitely not good at, and that’s why you have good staff around you.”

Wilsgard is also grateful to have a strong Mayor and council to work with, who have raised the bar as far as public engagement goes.

“Christina (Benty) is inarguably the most engaged mayor of a small community in this province. She does the position honour,” he said.

“Our council is diverse, and stunningly engaged in many things that you wouldn’t think of… It’s a pretty cool, diverse group of officials that I work for.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

Morning Start: Naps could save your life

Your morning start for Wednesday, July 9, 2020

From Mountains to Prairies another example of Golden’s local music talent

The band is slotted to perform at next Wednesday’s edition of Summer Kicks

Kicking Horse Movies reopens in time to celebrates 70 years

After a lengthy layoff due to COVID-19 the theatre is open to the public once more

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision by Golden

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Kelowna taxpayers could pay $90K for losses caused by cancelled Memorial Cup

$135,000 would be put aside for a potential bid for a future opportunity to host the tournament

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Motorcycle rider seriously injured in collision with vehicle on Highway 97 west of Pritchard

Chase RCMP report that motorcycle was attempting to pass when crash occurred

Predator mutilated cats in Kelowna: BC SPCA

The BC SPCA confirmed a mutilated cat was killed by a predator

LETTER: Former Summerland mayors speak out on solar project

Five former Summerland mayors sign name to short letter

Emergency crews conduct CPR on unresponsive person in Okanagan Lake

West Kelowna emergency crews are on scene at the shores of Jubilee Mobile Home Park

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Most Read