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Ex-EDO hired as District deputy administrator

Brent Leigh is coming back to the District of Squamish.

Brent Leigh is coming back to the District of Squamish.

Squamish's former economic development officer (EDO) has accepted an offer to become the district's deputy administrator, Squamish Mayor Ian Sutherland announced after an in-camera council meeting Oct. 5.

Leigh, who served as EDO and then special projects officer with the District from March 1999 to May 2000, resigned as president of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce earlier this month.

Coun. Corinne Lonsdale, who was mayor at the time of Leigh's hire and when Leigh left the District's employ, opposed the motion that formalized Leigh's hiring.

Leigh will start in his new job on Monday (Oct. 18). Sutherland said Leigh will help the chief administrative officer (CAO), Kim Anema. Leigh will also help the rest of the District's management team fulfill the community vision.

"He and Kim will be working together to maximize the value of each of them," Sutherland said. "We've already identified economic development, strategic planning and working with community development as three key areas that he [Leigh] will focus on at city hall.

"The attraction of Brent for the position is that he and Kim have complementary skills to each other," Sutherland added.

"It will allow senior administration to deal with bigger issues and away from day-to-day running of the city."

Leigh was the elected regional representative for Area D of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District before he took on the job of EDO in Squamish.

There was no budget provision in 2004 for the new position.

"The money for this year will be taken out of other places where we know the money isn't going to be spent," Sutherland said.

Sutherland views the hire as an investment.

"Squamish is going through some big challenges and we need to deal with those in the best way possible," said Sutherland. "This is going to pay off for us in the coming years."

Leigh told The Chief that while he was on the DOS staff the first time he got a good grasp of how the community functions.

"I learned how passionate the community was and how it was moving to some very exciting times," said Leigh.