The Village of Pemberton has hired a new administrator to see it through the Olympic Games.
Jerry Berry, formerly manager with the City of Nanaimo, has been appointed Interim Chief Administrative Officer for the village from Dec. 15, 2009 to Feb. 28, 2010.
As administrator he will oversee management of the village's operations, ensuring that policies, programs and other directions of council are implemented and advising council on the operations and affairs of village staff, as per Section 147 of British Columbia's Community Charter.
Berry, cited as Nanaimo's second most powerful person in a 2009 survey, comes to Pemberton after 22 years with the Vancouver Island city. He retired from the position in September, leaving a job that paid him a $219,000 annual salary.
His departure caught staff and councillors off guard and residents questioned the city as to why it paid him a severance package of $480,000 plus benefits. One resident circulated a petition that demanded an investigation or review into the "golden handshake" he got from Nanaimo.
While in Pemberton Berry will also serve as the village's corporate officer, ensuring that accurate minutes are taken of council meetings and that people can access the records of council and council committees. He's also charged with administering oaths and taking affirmations, affidavits and declarations as required under the Community Charter. He'll also take up the reins as manager of the Pemberton Airport.
Pemberton council approved the appointment at its Dec. 15 meeting.
Berry takes up after Lori Pilon, whose resignation is effective Jan. 5. She leaves the village to move home to the Kamloops area. She commuted back and forth from Kamloops every weekend while working in Pemberton and the Village of Lions Bay, where she worked for four years prior to working in Pemberton.
She moves full-time back to her home on the reserve of the Skeetchestn Indian Band, for whom partner Eddy Jules once served as Chief. Pilon will now complete her thesis as part of a Masters in Public Administration she's studying via distance education at the University of Victoria. She hopes to focus her thesis on the topic of governance and First Nations.
Other items at Tuesday's meeting included receipt and adoption of Pemberton's Affordable Housing Strategy, which is the result of community consultations that began this past summer. Council received the first draft of the strategy at its Oct. 6 meeting.
The final strategy seeks to "create a mix of rental, ownership and non-market housing options to meet the diverse needs of Pemberton residents," according to the strategy vision.
Affordable housing is defined in the strategy as housing that costs no more than 30 per cent of the median household income. That's estimated in the strategy as $68,500 for married couple families, $42,250 for single parent families and $36,300 for one-person households.
A graph tracking housing affordability shows that a married couple family should be paying approximately $1,710 of its monthly income for rent; single parent families $1,060; and one person households $910.
Affordable housing could come to Pemberton as part of Signal Hill Homes, a major neighbourhood being planned for areas adjacent to the elementary school and the town centre. The neighbourhood's developers have been asked to gift a tract of land to the Village of Pemberton, worth $200,000, that could be used for affordable housing.