Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for December 13, 2013

City manager’s job has attracted heavy interest

The city is setting its sights on the end of January to finish interviewing prospective city managers.

By Stephanie Waddell on December 13, 2013 at 6:28 pm


Photo by Whitehorse Star

Barbara Walker

The city is setting its sights on the end of January to finish interviewing prospective city managers.

By the time the deadline closed Monday, “a lot” of applications had come in for the position, Barbara Walker, the city’s human resources manager, said this week.

“Suffice it to say, it was a very good response,” she said.

She was initially reluctant to give an exact figure on how many applications have come in. She later said while there are in excess of 50, that number is somewhat misleading, as there were some which failed to meet the criteria the city specified in its job ad.

She said she is pleased to see a number of applicants from across the country, including some Yukoners among them.

She would not specify whether any of those are from Whitehorse.

Over the next couple of weeks, the applications will be short-listed to between six and 12. Those candidates will be interviewed by phone.

As Walker noted, the city is cognizant of the cost of bringing applicants to the territory for in-person interviews.

After the list of six to 12 is whittled down to the final two or three, the city will then likely bring in any prospective final candidates who are Outside for the final interview.

She expects the entire interviewing process to be wrapped up by the end of January, though exactly when the city will be announcing who will take on the position isn’t known.

“It’s really hard to tell,” Walker said, noting it largely depends on the later stages of the selection process and how people move through it.

Similarly, exactly when the new manager will take on their role at city hall is another unknown.

As Walker noted, the individual who is hired may have to give notice at his or her current job.

If the person must move to Whitehorse, it could take a couple of months to finalize things in his or her current location.

For now, interim city manager Brian Crist will continue in the role until a permanent manager is hired.

On Monday, council adopted the new interim city manager bylaw, which governs Crist’s position.

Crist has been in the role of acting city manager since last April, when then-city manager Stan Westby was suspended from his job.

A medical leave for Westby followed until September, when it was announced council had fired him with cause.

Details haven’t been released because it is a personnel matter.

While Crist has gone from acting city manager to interim city manager, he is not saying if he will pursue the role permanently.

CommentsAdd a comment

Sam Fister

Dec 13, 2013 at 7:04 pm

I hope the new city manager will be around for awhile and bring this city under control.
Hopefully he or she is firm but fair.

I do want the manager to bring a fresh perspective to SIMA (ie supporting SIMA) and want she/he to get us safely out of the Mary Lake court action (expropriation of mining claims) which could cost each taxpayer hundreds to thousands of dollars. Seriously folks, the city created a few messes which may be very costly.

Just Say'in

Dec 14, 2013 at 11:11 am

No wonder the city gets so many applications. Where else could you work for a couple of months and collect a wage for the next year? Something stinks with this. What did he do that he was told to go home and play sick until they could figure out a way to sweep it under the rug? If he was ultimately dismissed why was he kept around all of that time on the payroll while someone else did his job? We need an inquiry into the Cities hiring practices and a better process for new hires. Like maybe a ten minute search on the internet that would have shown his last employer glad to be rid of him.

Just Say'in

Dec 14, 2013 at 11:16 am

Why is it the City always seems to feel compelled to bring in a bunch of losers from down south? When they ditch these guys later, at a great expense between golden hand shakes and relocation charges, they always fall back on a local guy to do the job in his absence. “Hire him” we know he can do the job. We should always promote from within. The pro’s are not always from Dover. Sometimes they are right under your nose. Quit wasting taxpayers money.

Just Say'in

Dec 14, 2013 at 11:19 am

“Medical Leave” Let’s just say what this guy did and let the public decide if it was a Medical leave situation or not.


Dec 16, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Phone interview?  What year is this, 1996?  Surely the City could use Skype or Google Chat.  These are free mediums and then you get the benefit of hearing and seeing the candidates.  Surely the stakes are worthy of 2013 technologies.

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