Iqaluit’s acting CAO to be appointed officially as chief administrative officer
Elgersma has been working as the acting chief administrative officer since Feb. 2018
Amy Elgersma will become the city of Iqaluit’s new chief administration officer, after serving as acting CAO for over a year, when city councillors pass a new bylaw on Tuesday, March 26, to authorize the decision.
Bylaw 875 will allow Elgersma to be appointed officially to the position for a five-year term.
At a city council meeting on March 12, the bylaw received first and second reading. All members present voted in favour except one–Coun. Joanasie Akumalik.
Akumalik said he opposes the motion because he would like to see more Inuit fill open positions for jobs within the city and that Inuit hiring should be prioritized.
However, all the other city councillors who were present at the meeting, as well as the mayor and deputy mayor, voted in favour of the motion.
The only councillor not present was Simon Nattaq.
When Coun. Kyle Sheppard asked if the bylaw could go to third reading on Tuesday night, deputy mayor Stevenson and Elgersma said that it would be better to wait until next council meeting to make sure Nattaq could vote.
As CAO, Elgersma plans to focus on helping the city obtain funding for the many water issues facing Iqaluit, including creating a secondary water source and fixing and replacing old, malfunctioning infrastructure.
Elgersma has been working as the acting CAO since Feb. 2018. Before that, she has been employed by the City of Iqaluit since 1999 in various roles.
According to a news release issued by the city on Wednesday, Elgersma progressed from senior lifeguard to youth coordinator, then from assistant director of recreation to director of recreation, over the past 20 years.
“Elgersma has proven leadership skills, from managing the Department of Recreation including a number of projects from the Aquatic Centre, upgrades to the arena facilities, new city playgrounds, astro turf at the Arctic Winter Games Arena, along with developing new programs,” said the release.
She also has a master’s degree in executive management.
Accomplishments at the city
The work Elgersma has done over the last year as acting CAO has started “the important work of bringing stability back to the city workplace, from continuing to build strong relationships with staff, modernizing city financial systems, working closely with Public Works on assessing and committing to improving key services such as garbage collection and landfill operations.”
Elgersma was also recognized by the city for her integral role in managing some of Iqaluit’s biggest emergencies in 2018. This included working with the Lake Geraldine Water Supply Task Force last July to November, which saw the city replenish its depleting water supply through a pumping project from the Apex River.
As well, the city recognized the work she did to coordinate a community response committee during the Northmart fire in November.
Additionally, she has been a key figure in dealing with and resolving the numerous city water infrastructure issues.
“We’re very fortunate that Ms. Elgersma has accepted the role of city CAO,” Mayor Madeleine Redfern said.
“She knows the city and our community. She comes into the position with both knowledge, familiarity, skill, passion and commitment.”
Great news for the City and Iqaluit as a whole. Amy is one of the hardest working people in the community and we are lucky to have her.
My congratulations and best wishes to Amy
The CAO is generally a person people will blame for every single problem in the city. Amy has pretty thick skin from what I’ve seen, that’s what you need to be in that position.
Why would Councillor Akumalik not favor a class act? People like that are hard to come by. I’m sure GC and GN would love to have Ms. Elgersma working for them. Joanasie, inukmi qaujimavii taimaatigi iqqanaijarunnattumit?
Maybe Councillour Akumallik didn’t support Ms. Elgersma’s direct appointment to the position, because he like many other Iqalummiut would have preferred that the City run an open and transparent competition in which the best and most qualified candidate was hired.