With a new year, it appears Bowen will have a new chief administrative officer.
Bowen Island Municipality announced in a press release Thursday that the island’s top bureaucrat, Kathy Lalonde, resigned effective Dec. 31. Interim CAO Dennis Back will continue in his position until it can be filled.
“It's going to be such a huge loss for us, she's kind of an institution here,” said Mayor Gary Ander.
“Obviously, she had a bad year last year,” he said. “And I guess she just re-evaluated the situation.”
Lalonde started with the municipality in 2000 as a confidential secretary and became CAO in 2012 after the late Brent Mahood’s departure. Though at that point she had lived on Bowen for more than 20 years, in recent years she moved part-time to nearby Gambier Island.
Lalonde had been on leave since October due to the illness and death of her husband, Yvon Gosselin.
Lalonde’s departure marks the second senior staff member to leave BIM in 2019––public works manager Bob Robinson resigned in early summer.
But BIM will start the decade with a job search.
“Hopefully we get somebody on the island, but we'll have to see what's out there,” said Ander. “It's going to be tough to replace Kathy because she just has a lot of history.
“We're probably not going to get somebody with that capability but we'll see how it goes.”
“We've certainly valued Kathy's contribution,” added Ander. “And she's going to be really missed. We wish her all the very best.”