Red Deer City Hall. (Advocate file photo.)

Red Deer City Hall. (Advocate file photo.)

City of Red Deer’s recruitment for a new city manager faces delays

An election and some pandemic challenges have delayed the City of Red Deer’s recruitment for a new city manager.

Mayor Ken Johnston said on Thursday that he anticipates the position will be filled by July.

Meanwhile, interim city manager Tara Lodewyk, a long-time city administrator, had her acting status extended by council until then.

The City of Red Deer began recruiting to fill the city manager position shortly after former Red Deer city manager Allan Seabrooke unexpectedly announced his retirement about 10 months ago, on May 3, 2021.

The Ontario native left the City of Red Deer just two years after taking the job, saying he wanted to reconnect with family in light of the pandemic.

An unnamed recruitment firm was hired last July to start the process. But Johnston said there were delays as the mayor and two councillors sit on a recruitment committee, and there were major changes in the last municipal election — when he was elected into the mayor’s chair.

Also, the pandemic caused resource shortfalls at the city both last year and early in 202, he added.

However, Johnston is now feeling confident that a national search will soon bring forward some qualified candidates who will be interviewed later this spring or early summer.

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