ATHABASCA — The top job at Athabasca County has been filled once again.
Since the departure of long time CAO Ryan Maier in June 2021, the position was filled for an interim period by agriculture and community services Dawn Phillips who pulled double duty while also overseeing her department. Rod Risling was hired for the position this April only to resign seven weeks later to take the CAO job in Osoyoos, B.C. Frank Coutney then took over on a short-term basis until Christopher Parker was announced as the county's new chief administrator Sept. 14.
“I am pleased to announce that Mr. Parker has accepted the appointment as CAO for Athabasca County,” said reeve Brian Hall in a media release. “With his municipal experience, council and I believe Mr. Parker is well suited to lead the county as we continue to strive for success.”
Parker holds a Certification of Local Government Managers (CLGM) designation and has served as CAO for the Town of Peace River since 2015 and before that as CAO for the Town of Beaverlodge for two years.
He started his career after being a councillor for the municipality of County of Kings in Nova Scotia from 2000 to 2011 and took his first CAO position in High Prairie in 2011, followed by town manager of Norman Wells from 2011 to 2013 before moving to Beaverlodge.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Frank Coutney for the time, knowledge, and expertise that he has offered us in such a short time,” Hall said.
Parker assumed the position Sept. 19.
“I am very excited to work with the staff, council and ratepayers of Athabasca County,” Parker said.