By Kevin J Sabo
The Town of Castor has a new head administrator.
Christopher Robblee took over as CAO of Castor effective March 1, replacing outgoing CAO Sandi Jackson.
“I’ve been looking for a rural CAO position, especially rural, I don’t want to move to the city,” said Robblee. “We could move to the city and make more money, but we grew up rural. My wife grew up in Amisk.”
Robblee started with the Town on Feb. 4, however he did not take not immediately take over from Jackson. Instead he has took the month of February to get to know the Town staff, and has slowly transitioned assuming the role fully in March.
“The staff are great,” said Robblee. “Sandi is a great resource. I’m trying to convince her to stay on, but probably not going to happen. I think Sandi’s done.”
The biggest hurdle Robblee sees moving forward is going to be change. A couple changes he has implemented so far are that the Town of Castor social media platforms have already become more active, and he has been hard at work with council developing a strategic plan for the community.
“The change will be slow,” said Robblee. “By the time you get legislative approvals, by the time you convince councillors and get ministers to sign off, you’re looking at six months easy to get things done. You have to be okay with that.”
Robblee joins the Town of Castor after a nearly two-year stint as Economic Development and Tourism Officer with the Town of Vegreville. Prior to his work in Municipal Government, Robblee has worked in both the public and private sector working for the University of Alberta as a research assistant, a telecommunications contractor and then employee with Telus, various levels of federal and Provincial Government as a consultant and is involved with a large-scale hemp and cannabis facility in the province along with some other private endeavours.
“I’ve taken a back bench to all of that now that I’m with the municipality. I used to be primary contact and now I’m just a dividend,” said Robblee.
Robblee is joined in town by his wife Heather, who has family in the county. Robblee himself has no family ties to the community and sees himself as having an outside perspective, which could be good for the community.
“I’m a third party, which is good for the municipality too. Always an outside perspective, well for the next five or ten years,” Robblee laughed.
Robblee’s first council meeting as CAO will take place on Mar. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Town of Castor Council Chambers. The meeting is open to the public.