Ponoka searches for new CAO

The Town of Ponoka is looking for a new chief administrative officer.

The Town of Ponoka is looking for a new chief administrative officer.

Council voted on Tuesday to part ways with its top administrator of six years, Brad Watson.

Mayor Rick Bonnett said there was nothing personal about the dismissal. Council simply wanted to head in a different direction.

“We’ve had a lot of new council. They just didn’t feel the direction we were going was the right way,” he said.

“It’s just like the old hockey analogy: coaches are hired to be fired. We wish Brad all the best in his future endeavours but he wasn’t the right fit for the council sitting at this time.

“It’s a tough job and it will be a hard search for a new CAO.”

Bonnett said the new council is looking to boost communication with ratepayers, improve service levels and to empower staff.

Watson said he was grateful for the time he had in Ponoka and the opportunity to work with council and staff.

“It’s a great community.”

Watson said he’s already been fielding employment calls and hopes to remain in Central Alberta.

Ponoka’s council changed dramatically after last October’s election. Only one incumbent returned on council and Bonnett replaced nine-year mayor Larry Henkelman, who did not run again.

Council will form a subcommittee to search for a new CAO. It is expected to take two to six months to find a replacement.

In the meantime, an acting CAO has been appointed.

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