Lou Varela leaves Oak Bay in May after serving four years as chief administrative officer. (Courtesy District of Oak Bay)

Lou Varela leaves Oak Bay in May after serving four years as chief administrative officer. (Courtesy District of Oak Bay)

Oak Bay on the hunt for a new chief administrator

CAO Lou Varela takes the helm in Qualicum Beach May 16

Oak Bay looks to recruit a new chief administrative officer as Lou Varela heads for Qualicum Beach to be closer to family.

Varela has served the district nearly four years after coming as interim CAO and choosing to stay on in April 2019.

“While I’m excited about my next chapter, Oak Bay will always remain near and dear to my heart. There is important work being done here, with shared purpose, in both the governance and operational realms. The commitment to provide service excellence by both our elected officials and our dedicated staff has been nothing short of inspirational to me as a leader,” she said in a statement.

RELATED: Oak Bay searching for permanent CAO

Varela had a positive impact during her tenure, said Mayor Kevin Murdoch.

“We are grateful for her positive leadership during the last four years. These have been years of significant transition and restructuring, two of those during pandemic. While council and staff are sad to see her leave, we know our exceptional senior leadership team are positioned to continue providing great service throughout the transition period,” Murdoch said.

Varela takes over as CAO for Qualicum on May 16. Prior to finishing in Oak Bay in April, Varela will assist with the recruitment process.

RELATED: Search cancelled for Oak Bay chief administrator, interim to stay on

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