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Former military commander St. Albert's new chief administrative officer

Bill Fletcher spent 33 years in the Canadian army, and will now lead the City as it works to implement council's vision.
1105 new cao sup CC
Bill Fletcher, formerly a military commander, will step into his new role on June 13, 2022. KEVIN MA/St. Albert Gazette

A decorated former military man will lead St. Albert as its new chief administrative officer, the city announced Monday. 

After spending 33 years in the Canadian army, Bill Fletcher will step into the role of chief adminstrative officer (CAO) June 13, replacing former CAO Kevin Scoble, who resigned at the end of last year. Garnering the rank of brigadier-general, Fletcher most recently held the position of commander of the Third Canadian Division. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in addition to a masters of defence studies. He received Canada’s second-highest honour for military valour for his bravery while serving in Afghanistan. 

Mayor Cathy Heron said in an interview Tuesday that though the City had excellent candidates to choose from, Fletcher rose to the top very quickly. Travelling extensively for his work, Fletcher expressed a love for St. Albert — his home — and a demonstrated capability in leadership roles. 

“We wanted a true leader that could motivate and inspire and the staff,” Heron said, highlighting difficulties of COVID-19 and the downturn in the economy, as well as downloaded costs from the province as challenges the City is currently facing. 

On top of presenting himself as a good leader within St. Albert, Heron said Fletcher is already “a leader in the region,” with connections to the province and with other CAOs in nearby communities. One of the things that struck Heron most about Fletcher is that he emphasized his vision for the City will be set by council.

“Then he will deliver it,” Heron said. “That right there is a sign he understands the governance structure.”  

Fletcher was not available for an interview with The Gazette before press time Tuesday. 

Coun. Wes Brodhead said he is confident in Fletcher’s capacity to “take the City forward into the future.” 

“His resume and CV speaks for itself,” Brodhead said. “This will be the fourth CAO that I’ve served under, and each have had their own strengths and brought a sense of purpose to the City.” 

Fletcher's strengths, Brodhead said, lie in logistics and organizations, skills that will lend well in structuring St. Albert for success. Like Heron, Brodhead highlighted Fletcher’s relationships within the region, which he said will help the City work collaboratively with its neighbouring communities. 

Interim CAO to stay on 

Kerry Hilts, who served as interim CAO while council searched to fill the position, will resume his role as deputy CAO when Fletcher steps in. 

Heron thanked Hilts for his work in a May 9 release, commending his “dedication and integrity” while in the role. 

“He implemented an effective interim leadership approach and, through the support from many City leaders, services, and priorities continued uninterrupted,” Heron said in the release. “We want him and all of St. Albert to know how much we appreciate all he has done.”

Speaking Tuesday, Heron highlighted that in addition to welcoming Fletcher as the new CAO, St. Albert's recently elected council will soon have a new strategic plan.

“We’ve got a lot going for us right now, and that’s going to be exciting,” Heron said. 

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