Vancouver's Beth James has emerged as the successful candidate in the city's search for a new city manager.
After years in senior executive positions in the provincial government and a private sector management consultant, the North Shore native said she was pleased about the move to local government.
"I really am excited about coming and making a contribution to the community. I'm very interested in helping the community leverage the opportunities that I think are likely to come to the north," said James, adding she was "eager to work with the mayor and council and City of Prince George staff to make a contribution to the goals and objectives of the citizens of Prince George and the myPG strategic plan."
This is not the first time James has traveled to Prince George, having visited before in her roles as associate deputy minister for Children and Family Development and assistant deputy minister of regional operations in the Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance.
She could have made her mark in Prince George in a big way a few years ago. After leaving Shared Services B.C. in 2010, James was briefly linked to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure as the lead on the Wood Innovation and Design Centre file before leaving the public sector altogether.
James will take over the office from acting city manager Kathleen Soltis on May 1.
The national search to replace Derek Bates, who left the city after six years as chief administrative officer in October, was conducted with the help of Vancouver-based recruitment firm Odgers Berndston.
According to Mayor Shari Green, there were approximately 40 applications received for the position, which pays $212,000 per year. The selection of James was a unanimous council decision.
"We have found an incredible candidate that's really going to help be a partner with council to lead the organization and the community moving forward," said Green.
In her contract, James will receive the same basic benefits entitlements as all exempt city staff, a $6,000 per year vehicle allowance and 30 vacations days. In the event she leaves the job, her severance package will consist of six months' salary plus one month per year of service, to a maximum of 18 months. Since she's coming from out of town, James will also receive a one-time $25,000 relocation allowance.
Green said both she and James are excited about the partnership ahead as chief executive officer and chief administrative officer of Prince George, respectively.
"And we see that very much as a partnership," Green said. "She will lead the internal organization and manage the operation and I will lead the council and the political side of the operation and working well together makes for better decision making and better outcomes for the community."
James has previous experience in capital planning and infrastructure management, both as the associate deputy minister and head of the Capital Planning Secretariat as well as in her position as president and CEO of Shared Services B.C.
She has dealt with taxation issues as the associate deputy minister of revenue solutions in the Ministry of Small Business and Revenue and was accountable for BC Assessment as assistant deputy minister in the same ministry.
James participated in the core services review conducted by the provincial government and various other program and expenditure management reviews. She also had a hand in economic development programming and regulatory reform as the assistant deputy minister for Economic Development and the assistant deputy minister for Small Business and Regulatory Reform.
She has also served as vice president in the consulting practice of PriceWaterhouseCoopers and as a strategic advisor with Heenan Blaikie Consulting, where she specialized in business transformations and alternative service delivery models such as shared services models and outsourcing.
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