Laurie Hurst has announced her retirement after 14 years as Esquimalt’s chief administrative officer and 18 in total with the municipality.
Hurst, who officially leaves her post in fall 2022, earned the respect of Mayor Barbara Desjardins along the way.
“I could always rely on her leadership and commitment to the township and our residents,” the mayor said in a release. “She has been an exceptional administrative leader of the organization, guiding our township and six different councils through many challenging issues,” not least of which is the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among her career highlights at Esquimalt, Hurst negotiated terms of the $17-million McLoughlin Amenity Funds agreement with the Capital Regional District, the proceeds of which are helping build the Gorge Park Pavilion and impacted financial plans for the future Public Safety Building. She also helped navigate the property sales and land agreements necessary for the Esquimalt Town Square project to proceed.
“Her diligence, keen wit and expertise will be missed,” Desjardins said.
The township will begin its formal recruitment process in late March.
Hurst, whose 30-plus year career in local government also included finance roles with the CRD, Town of View Royal and District of Sooke, joined Esquimalt in 2004 as director of finance and was promoted to CAO four years later. She’s a member of the Regional Emergency Management Partnership and a frequent consultant for the Local Government Management Association.
The CAO role has simultaneously been one of the most challenging and rewarding facets of her career, Hurst said.
“The opportunity to be part of such growth and positive change, both in the organization and in the community has been the most fulfilling role I could have imagined for myself. I am so proud to have been able to contribute to what has been accomplished over the years,” she said.
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