Ucluelet CAO Mark Boysen has resigned his position and is heading south-Island. (Westerly file photo)

Ucluelet CAO Mark Boysen resigns

Mayor Mayco Noel says he and his council "completely caught off guard"

Ucluelet’s Chief Administrative Officer has resigned.

The town’s municipal council accepted Boysen’s resignation during an in-camera—closed to the public—Feb. 9 meeting and appointed Chief Financial Officer Donna Monteith as acting CAO, effective immediately, relieving Boysen of his responsibilities though his last day is scheduled for March 5.

The district announced Boysen’s resignation on Feb. 19.

“My family and I have loved our nearly 4 years in Ucluelet. It has been very rewarding to work with Council to build a strong leadership team and move significant community projects forward,” Boysen said through the announcement.

Boysen had held the role since June 2017, moving with his family from Victoria. The announcement says he has accepted a new opportunity in southern Vancouver Island.

“He valued relationships with the community, neighbouring partners, Council and staff. He will be missed,” the announcement reads.

The Westerly News reached out to Boysen, who declined to comment beyond his statement in the announcement.

Ucluelet mayor Mayco Noel told the Westerly that he and his council were “completely caught off guard” by the resignation, adding that Boysen had given no prior indication that he was considering leaving.

“When you’re not prepared for news like that, it’s hard to take…He put his resignation in without any forewarning to the community, but I wish him nothing but success in his future endeavours,” Noel said. “Council has one employee, that’s the CAO. The CAO needs to follow the strategic plan, follow the guidance of council and make our dreams and wishes come true. So, as much as it’s a business decision, sometimes it’s hard for things not to be personal.”

The district has hired local government consultant Don Schaffer to help find a new CAO and Noel said he is confident that the district office team will continue to work effectively while Boysen’s replacement is sought.

“He was given a lot of ability through a very supportive mayor and council during his time working in Ucluelet,” Noel said. “We can’t give credit to one person for reinventing any wheels…Everything that we do is about teamwork.”

Noel suggested it can be hard for small communities like Ucluelet to attract and keep high level staff and that roles in smaller municipalities can sometimes be used as stepping stones towards opportunities in larger communities.

“I think every rural community is aware that they are a launching pad, it doesn’t matter if you talk to a small community in Alberta or the mayor of Port Hardy. This is a challenge that we have in small communities, attracting key personnel at all levels which we embrace and love and they have the opportunity to get the skillset they’re looking for and look for jobs,” he said.

“The reality is, rural communities continue to have a struggle to find candidates and then you compound it with a housing crisis that we have and it’s just another factor in all this…(Boysen) left the town in a lurch, we’re going to quickly try to canvass and hire someone and these are unexpected costs to the district that we’re trying to navigate through.”


andrew.bailey@westerlynews.caLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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