The District of Saanich has named its new chief administrative officer, Paul Thorkelsson, who will take over on Jan. 4.
Thorkelsson has been with the Regional District of Nanaimo since 2006 as CAO, deputy CAO and general manager of strategic and community development.
The hiring ends a process that started in July with Boyden Global Executive Search.
Mayor Richard Atwell defended the cost of using a third-party contractor, as council chose to use a hiring firm to make it a country-wide search, a return to the process that was used to hire former CAO Paul Murray.
“This was a council decision to use a recruiter in both instances and perhaps indicates the preference of bringing in people with the greatest familiarity with our issues,” Atwell said.
He added that he can see why a taxpayer might question using a national hiring firm only to hire local candidates (Murray was the equivalent of an internal promotion) and Thorkelsson from Nanaimo.