Revelstoke city hires new interim CAO ahead of fall election

Evan Parliament has been hired as interim CAO at the City of Revelstoke, saying it will be up to the next council to decide where to go from there. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine

The City of Revelstoke has hired a new interim Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Evan Parliament, who started on Monday, Aug. 15.

Parliament said he has been hired on an interim basis ahead of the Oct. 15, 2022, general local election and that his future beyond then would be up to the consideration of the next council.

The CAO is the city’s top employee and is the liaison between the city and council.

During the current council term starting in late 2018, the city has cycled through three permanent CAOs. It also hired an interim CAO, Ron Mattiussi, for a period in 2021 and again in 2022. The city announced an organizational review and plans to recruit a new CAO in April.

Parliament is a journeyman CAO, saying he has served in 10 different municipalities in B.C. and Alberta over a 36-year career. His most recent post was in Sicamous from November 2015 until this July, when the District of Sicamous issued a statement saying the town and the CAO were parting ways. (When Parliament was hired in Sicamous in 2015, current Revelstoke Councillor and former Revelstoke CAO, Tim Palmer, was interim CAO in Sicamous and is quoted in the media release announcing Parliament’s hiring.)

Parliament said the turnover in the CAO position had led to uncertainty in the business community, staff and residents. “When you multiply that four or five times, it just equals frustration,” he said.

(Revelstokemountaineer.com has chronicled senior staff turnover at city hall; see this story from July 2022 for links to main developments over the past two years.)

In an interview with revelstokemountaineer.com, Parliament vowed to be accessible and responsive, saying he wanted to get out of the office and make himself available to anyone who wanted to meet.

He hopes to bolster both internal and external communication. “Cities and local governments tend to think they get the word out,” Parliament said, adding the reality is people don’t necessarily access the information, so he hopes to make it easier and more consistent, focusing on issues like budget, taxation and finance. He said concrete steps include improving the website and providing summaries of long documents.

Parliament said housing is a key issue, saying it was causing brain drain in the community. Parliament said the solutions lay in partnerships with community groups and described a number of different possible policy tools, many of which were discussed in a housing plan recently completed by the city.

“Let’s get through the election,” Parliament said, adding he is new to the community and doesn’t have all the answers yet.

In B.C., general local elections are held on a set date every four years. This year, they are on Oct. 15, 2022. All elected positions are up for election, including mayor, councillors, school district trustees, and regional district representatives.

The deadline for candidates to file their nomination papers is September 9. Find out how to run for an elected position through this City of Revelstoke webpage or this Elections B.C. website.

This post was published by a member of the Revelstoke Mountaineer staff. Stories published under the staff byline include news briefs, stories that consist mostly of media releases, social media post shares, and stories by contributors with the author's name listed in the body of the story.