The City of Charlottetown has created a new position it says will take some of the workload off its chief administrative officer, Peter Kelly.
Scott Messervey spent his last day as audit director in the province’s auditor generals office on Friday and will assume his new responsibilities as Kelly’s deputy chief administrative officer on Jan. 22.
Since Kelly arrived two years ago, he had been taking care of the tasks done by four former directors positions that haven’t been filled – director of public services, director of corporate services, director of human resources and director of fiscal and development services. Those positions weren’t filled when they were vacated by attrition.
“Since I’ve been here there have been no directors so I have been, basically, co-ordinating the tasks that need to be done daily,’’ Kelly said Friday.
“Due to the workload, and it is a busy place to work which is a good thing, and for several reasons, you want to make sure you have the right structure in place and council agreed that it was time that we brought forward a deputy CAO position to make up for the others we had taken away and just try and redistribute the workload a bit.’’
Messervey has been in P.E.I. since 2009. In the auditor generals office, he served as the audit director of financial statements and the audit director of professional practice and quality assurance. He has also worked in the private sector and spent nine years with the auditor general in Nova Scotia.
Messervey said he was looking for a change.
“I saw the posting and I thought it would be a great opportunity to bring my skillset to the city,’’ Messervey said. “Initially, my understanding is I will be taking over some of the finance stuff and spending a lot of time defining the role.’’
Kelly said Messervey has his CA and his CPA as well as a masters of administration, making him a valuable asset.
“He also has some IT background so that will be an area that we have under review and (plan on) making some improvements,’’ Kelly said. “We’ll also be dealing with HR and other aspects so he’ll be used where I can best utilize his experience and his expertise.’’
Coun. Terry MacLeod, chairman of the human resources committee, said Kelly has been putting in 60- to 70-hour weeks and that was too much.
“We have a strong management team but it’s time to add some support,’’ MacLeod said. “By balancing out the CAO’s current workload, and redistributing other required responsibilities of the vacant director positions, the CAO, with council’s support, has created this new deputy CAO position.’’
Kelly said 25 candidates applied for the job from across Canada and an outside organization, Island Recruiting, worked with him to shortlist the field to four and select Messervey. City council wasn’t involved in the hiring process.
“If I got hit by a bus then somebody is going to have to continue onward,’’ Kelly said. “We do need the redistribution of the workload. I don’t mind putting in my time and I have.’’