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North Battleford city manager Jim Toye, who was named Prince Albert city manager during Monday’s city council meeting -- a position he will fill effective Jan. 2.
Both excitement and a heavy heart have greeted Jim Toye’s recent appointment as city manager of Prince Albert.
As city manager in North Battleford since 2000, Toye said that he’s grown attached to the city of about 14,000 people, but that he couldn’t turn down the career advancement that Prince Albert had to offer.
“It’s certainly going to be a challenge for me, but as a professional person I like to challenge myself,” he said on Tuesday.
“And for me to move up in my profession as a municipal administrator, I have to move.
“My job here has been challenging and rewarding, and I look forward to the same thing in Prince Albert … I know about Prince Albert. It’s a very progressive and growing city, and I just want to be part of that energy.”
Although he’s already visited Prince Albert and has some ideas, he’s reluctant to share his plans for Prince Albert at this early stage.
“What I want to do before I set personal goals is that I want to meet with city council and find out what their goals and objectives are,’ he said, adding that he also needs to meet with administration to figure out what the challenges and previously-established work plans are.
“I’m not a magical person. In order for me to be successful I need a strong team … I want a team that’s in sync, that’s working the same way -- that we’re reacting the same way and that we’re transparent and working as a team.”
Toye’s Jan. 2 start dates sets the stage for a busy couple months, positioning him in the midst of budget preparations for both North Battleford and Prince Albert.
In order to meet this challenge, he hopes to come out to Prince Albert prior to his Jan. 2 start date in order to hash out some of the budget’s ins and outs, while maintaining his commitment to fulfilling goals in North Battleford.
Key to everything, he said, is a united city administration.
“I’m simply one person, but I pride myself on working well with a strong administration team.”
It’s certainly going to be a challenge for me, but as a professional person I like to challenge myself. Jim Toye
A loss to North Battleford
While Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne announced Toye as city manager during Monday’s council meeting, North Battleford Mayor Ian Hamilton announced Toye’s resignation.
“He’s the best, he truly is,” Hamilton said on Tuesday. “This is a huge loss to the city of North Battleford, as far as I’m concerned. He’s a very professional, very thorough manager. He’s as star in our eyes.”
The hope, Hamilton said, is that Prince Albert city council is kind enough to share their new city manager a little bit during the transition period.
“I’m going to be having some words with your mayor tomorrow night -- he stole our guy!” Hamilton said with a laugh.
Listing Toye’s contributions to North Battleford, Hamilton cautioned that he’s only able to cover Toye’s most recent work.
“He’s done quite a number of things,” Hamilton said. “I’d like to give him credit for a lot more than I’ll probably be able to.”
The list of accomplishments includes a central role in adopting a form of the Community Mobilization Prince Albert model in North Battleford and the upcoming construction of a housing program to address homelessness.
From 2011 to 2012, Toye was president of the Urban Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators, Hamilton said, noting that this has helped bring national attention to North Battleford.
The loss of Toye is a “great loss” to North Battleford, Hamilton said, adding that while he’s disappointed to see him leave, he respects Toye’s career decision to head a municipality about three times as big as North Battleford.
“I hold him in very, very high regard,” Hamilton said. “It’s going to be huge shoes to fill in North Battleford.”