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UPDATE: Prince Rupert City Manager to begin as Chief Administrative Officer for Sooke on Feb. 1

Prince Rupert's long-serving city manager has agreed to take on a new leadership role on Vancouver Island.

According to the Sooke News Mirror, Sooke Mayor Wendal Milne announced on Nov. 6 that Gord Howie had signed a three year contract with the District of Sooke to fill the role of Chief Administrative Officer. Howie was chosen from more than 100 applicants to replace Evan Parliament, who left the District on July 31 after five years.

Howie gave his notice effective January 31, 2013 and is scheduled to start in his new position on Feb. 1, 2013. According to Howie, the main reason for the decision has to do with family.

"My three kids and two grandchildren live in the Lower Mainland, so it's time to start the migration back to Vancouver and this opportunity came up," he said.

"I've really enjoyed my time in Prince Rupert, working with different councils and employees, but it is time to get closer to my family."

Prince Rupert mayor Jack Mussallem praised Howie for the work he's done for the City and said that the process of finding Howie's replacement will begin shortly.

"You would always like to have someone in place before he leaves, but it depends on the selection process, the considered candidates and their time line. The best candidates may not be able to make the move in time...Whoever is leaving employment somewhere else to come here needs to be respectful of their employer and provide enough notice," he said, noting that the hiring will be done at the discretion of council.

"Council's focus is continuing with the consistency in the City and carrying on with the many projects we are pursuing on behalf of the people of Prince Rupert."

Howie served as CAO in Prince Rupert from 1980 to 1987 and returned to fill the role again in 2005. As well as being City Manager, Howie is currently serving as chair of the CityWest board of directors.

Look for more on this story as it becomes available.

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