Laurie Hurst has announced her retirement after 14 years as Esquimalt’s chief executive and 18 in total with the municipality.
Hurst, who officially steps down in the fall of 2022, has earned the respect of Mayor Barbara Desjardins along the way.
“I could always count on his leadership and commitment to the township and our residents,” the mayor said in a statement. “She has been an outstanding administrative leader of the organization, guiding our township and six different councils through many difficult issues,” not the least of which is the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the highlights of his career in Esquimalt, Hurst negotiated the terms of the $17 million McLoughlin Amusement Fund deal with the Capital Regional District, the proceeds of which help build the Gorge Park Pavilion and had an impact on the financial plans for the future public safety building. She also helped navigate the property sales and land deals necessary to complete the Esquimalt Town Square project.
“His diligence, quick wit and expertise will be missed,” said Desjardins.
The township will begin its formal recruitment process at the end of March.
Hurst, whose more than 30-year career in local government also included finance roles at CRD, Town of View Royal and Sooke District, joined Esquimalt in 2004 as Director of Finance and was promoted to general manager four years later. She is a member of the Regional Emergency Management Partnership and a frequent consultant for the Local Government Management Association.
The CAD role has simultaneously been one of the most challenging and rewarding facets of his career, Hurst said.
“The opportunity to be a part of such growth and positive change, both in the organization and in the community, has been the most fulfilling role I could have imagined for myself. I am so proud to have been able to contribute to what has been achieved over the years,” she said.
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