MULGRAVE: The Town of Mulgrave’s search for a new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) may be nearing completion.

This would be the town’s third CAO in the past four years.

In October, the town began the search after Darlene Berthier Sampson fulfilled her contractual obligations and decided to leave for personal reasons – after becoming the CAO and chief financial officer in 2019.

An offer of employment was made to a candidate who fulfilled the job requirements, but hasn’t accepted the position just yet – they asked for the January start date to be pushed back to the first week of February.

“We have someone we’re speaking with at the moment,” Mayor Ron Chisholm told The Reporter. “But I have no update – we’re just waiting to hear back from him.”

The town expects an answer soon, however no other potential candidates have been identified for the CAO position.

When asked if Berthier Sampson would remain as CAO if this particular candidate didn’t work out, Chisholm indicated “oh jeez, I don’t know about that one – we’re hoping this one works out, for Darlene’s sake too.”

Berthier Sampson also served as a by-law enforcement officer and a building manager, when the Town of Mulgrave took over the Mulgrave Memorial Centre building.

“That became a very big workload for me,” she said.

She indicated she would need to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to get to the building by 6:30 a.m. to open it for the people who rented it out to do training.

Berthier Sampson, who has a background as a chartered accountant, admitted she had no experience as a CAO and that it was “a big job” especially in a small town where there isn’t a lot of staff.

Facing a number of financial challenges in Mulgrave, she said it was the support of councillors and the residents who kept her going and that their volunteerism has been “instrumental in keeping the town on its feet.”

“I know she was looking to get out by the end of December, but that has come and gone,” he said. “She has been great to us – she’s stayed extra. We want to get it finalized and get moving onward.”