Sooke’s new Chief Administrative Officer Gord Howie landed in Sooke just over two weeks ago and he is getting to know the council, staff and community.
Howie comes from Prince Rupert where he was the CAO for seven years along with a stint as city administrator back in the 1980s.
He has a diploma in Public Sector Administration from the University of Victoria along with 37 years of experience in local government.
Prior to Prince Rupert, Howie worked as deputy administrator in Richmond and district manager in the District of North Vancouver.
He is passionate about local government and has been ever since he was a teenager.
“I think it is the most immediate level of government and it has the most impact on the people of the community and the people of the community have the most impact on local government,” said Howie.
He hasn’t been here long enough to figure out what unique challenges Sooke has but he says he is beginning to learn about the community.
He said every community has commonalities such as finance, land use and provision of services.
“I enjoy going to work every day and making a difference in whatever municipality I’m in,” he said.
So why Sooke?
Howie said there are two reasons. First, when he saw the ad asking for someone with experience, it really appealed to him. Second, he has three grown children in Vancouver and he wants to be closer to his grandkids, closer to family.
His wife, Tenalee Hesse is currently in Hazelton as acting administrator. She accepts contracts to work during transitions or locums.
Their interests will be well suited to Sooke. Howie said he likes fishing, golf, travel and has a passion for choral singing. He’s a tenor.
What struck him and surprised him was the rural/urban mix in Sooke.
“I’m really glad to be here and am looking forward to challenges, working with council and staff to make Sooke a better place.”