The Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s chief administrative officer Charles Hamilton is retiring on April 30, 2022. (CSRD photo)

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s chief administrative officer Charles Hamilton is retiring on April 30, 2022. (CSRD photo)

Columbia Shuswap Regional District board pays tribute to outgoing administrator

Charles Hamilton has served as CSRD’s chief administrative officer for 13-plus years

Charles Hamilton is confident the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is well positioned to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic and experience a bright future – filled with both challenges and opportunity.

The regional district’s chief administrative officer for the past 13-and-a-half years attended his last board of directors meeting on Thursday, April 21 before his retirement at the end of the month.

A portion of the meeting was dedicated to recognizing Hamilton and his career with the regional district.

“Charles, you have done a lot for our region and a quick five-minute thank you at this point does not seem appropriate, and hopefully we’ll have a big party some day to send you off appropriately,” commented board chair Kevin Flynn, before giving Hamilton the floor.

The CAO noted his local government career has spanned 30 years with four different jurisdictions, three municipalities and one regional district.

“The past 13.5 years with the CSRD has been the most personally fulfilling of my career, and one which I will always remember,” said Hamilton. “I am humbled by the outpouring of appreciation and well wishes I’ve received over the past two months since I announced my retirement.

“While much of the praise and comments have credited me… for many achievements, none were possible without the talents of our entire team working collaboratively with our elected officials. I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of the entire CSRD team and the work that has helped transform the CSRD into an organization that is both responsive and caring for the people it serves.”

With gratitude for many, Hamilton used the time allotted to thank key individuals, including all the board chairs he’s worked with. He gave special recognition to Area E (Rural Sicamous) director Rhona Martin, calling her one of the kindest, most compassionate and caring elected officials he’s worked with.

“Rhona’s unrelenting commitment to local government is evidenced by her leadership roles with SILGA, UBCM and FCM,” said Hamilton. “Her involvement with these organizations has certainly raised the profile of the CSRD at the regional, federal and provincial levels. This involvement has resulted, in my estimation, in both tangible and intangible benefits for the CSRD and for our region generally.”

Hamilton thanked local media, particularly retired Observer reporter Barb Brouwer.

“I’ve always found Barb’s coverage of the CSRD’s business affairs to be thorough, fair and well-balanced,” said Hamilton.

Read more: Columbia Shuswap Regional District announces retirement of administrator Charles Hamilton

Read more: Falkland department honoured for exceptional firefighting

Lastly, Hamilton thanked the CSRD’s “talented and dedicated staff,” giving special attention to the leadership team –Darcy Mooney, Gerald Christie, Jodie Pierce and Jennifer Shan.

“These managers are the brain trust of the organization and do must of the heavy lifting,” said Hamilton. “As all four of them are smarter than I am, my approach has been to give them the tools to do their job and get out of the way.”

Hamilton reflected on how local government management has changed over the past 30 years.

“This context has been shaped by a variety of ideological, political and cultural forces as well as societal trends generally,” said Hamilton. “While these changes will create challenges for the organization as it moves forward, it will also provide opportunities to look at new and innovative ways to improve how the CSRD elects to conduct it’s business affairs and govern itself.”

Hamilton said he and his partner will continue to reside in Salmon Arm and they “look forward to the completion of the underpass.”

Directors shared their thanks and appreciation to Hamilton.

“Your vision, your ability to build teams and sometimes to push back at us as elected officials, I think has made us make better decisions,” said Martin. “That hasn’t always been easy for you and for us. And I’ve always appreciated it.”

Revelstoke director Gary Sulz credited Hamilton for the work he did behind the scenes to motivate staff, while Electoral Area A (Rural Golden) director Karen Cathcart thanked Hamilton for his help and guidance.

“We don’t always agree on things but at the end of the day, we’re here for the same reason,” said Electoral Area D director Rene Talbot. “So I would just like to thank you for your contribution to the CSRD and the residents and I hope you enjoy your retirement and you know, you can always stop in and have a coffee.”
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