After more than a year-and-a-half without a town manager, Sackville finally has a new Chief Administrative Officer back in place.
Phil Handrahan, a longtime municipal administrator with the city of Charlottetown, was appointed Monday night to take on the town’s top post, filling the vacancy left when Eric Mourant was dismissed from the job in September 2011.
Handrahan will take over the role this coming May.
“He comes to us with a wealth of municipal experience . . . he’s very well qualified. And we feel he’s somebody we can all work with,” said Coun. Margaret Tusz-King, who sat on the hiring committee for the new CAO.
An employee with the city of Charlottetown for the past 30 years, Handrahan has most recently served as director of fiscal and development services – where he was responsible for leadership and overall direction in the departments of administrative services (finance, HR and communications), planning and heritage, parks and recreation, and advanced planning.
Throughout his career with the municipality, he has served as the manager or director of all city departments. As well, Handrahan also benefited from the experience of two secondments from the city, where he was a manager at Veteran Affairs Canada for two years as well as the executive director/CEO for Softworld PEI Inc. for a year.
Handrahan has a bachelor of physical education degree, specializing in recreation administration, and a bachelor of education degree, majoring in physical education with a minor in economics, from the University of New Brunswick.
Tusz-King said the members of the hiring committee worked alongside the consultant, town council and management staff to make their selection. They are pleased with how well the process worked over the past few months.
“We’re totally thrilled,” she said. “We really look forward to welcoming him here to the community in May.”
Coun. Bruce Phinney said he was pleased the hiring committee included town councillors and management staff in the final decision. He said both parties are required to work with the CAO on a daily basis so it simply makes sense to include them in the process.
Handrahan was chosen from among several dozen applicants and councillors say they are eager for his arrival.
“I’m excited,” said Coun. Shawn Mesheau. “I’m looking forward to being able to start tackling some of the issues we haven’t tackled because of a lack of staff.”
Handrahan, who recently received a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award for his contribution to his community, has been an active volunteer in minor sports and has served as a volunteer in many capacities with various organizations hosting conferences and special events.
He is an avid golfer who also enjoys cycling and travelling with his wife Frankie to keep in touch with their three children.