The City of Revelstoke has hired a new senior administrator, taking on Lyle Huntley as the new Director of Corporate Administration and Communications.
The new position was outlined in a restructuring agenda put forward to council by city CAO Tim Palmer earlier this year.
Huntley told the Times Review he has worked in civic administration his entire life, serving for 20 years in Ontario before relocating to Kamloops in 2006 to work at the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, where he was employed in administration.
The Kamloops Daily News reports Huntley left the TNRD in late 2011 in a dispute involving senior administrators, and was remunerated $53,000 in severance.
Since then, Huntley has been self-employed as a local government consultant.
Huntley’s new position is the combination of two roles.
As Director of Corporate Administration, he oversees matters like elections, meeting agendas, meeting minutes and legislative compliance,
“The corporate officer looks at things from a legislative end, making sure the rules are being followed, that policies and procedures are being followed from a corporate perspective,” he said. “It’s that legislative side of what local government has to adhere to.”
Most of Huntley’s duties were being performed by the CAO, and other administrative staff.
The standalone communication portfolio is new to the city.
Huntley said he is in the process of developing a communications strategy.
He said the goal is to improve many facets of communication. That includes between the city and residents, between staff and council and between the city and stakeholder groups. He will also be responsible for communications with other levels of government, from the school board to provincial government.
Huntley said he will troubleshoot communication problems, be the communication lead during crisis situations, and will help with communication problems.
He will develop strategies for communicating city objectives. For example, he will produce campaigns for water conservation or snow removal compliance, including things like pamphlets and social media messaging.
He will also review the city’s website. “Does it need to be updated and refreshed?” he asked. “Is it the information that people actually want to access?”
Huntley studied economics and computing and said he’s pro-technology in his approach to communications.
He will seek to re-engage residents following a noticeable drop-off in public participation in planning processes in the past few years. The plan is, “to engage them at the right time … with the right information.”
Huntley is relocating to Revelstoke with his wife Marge. He enjoys hiking and golf, and said they are looking forward to the small-town lifestyle in Revelstoke.
“It’s just the pace of the community, really,” he said.