Murray Clarke will leave his job as CAO of Sidney on Jan. 20.

Murray Clarke will leave his job as CAO of Sidney on Jan. 20.

Sidney loses chief admin

Sidney CAO Murray Clarke moving to Ontario at end of January

The town of Sidney is losing one of its top staffers.

Murray Clarke, the town’s chief administrative officer for the past five years, announced Monday he is leaving effective Jan. 20.

“My primary motivator is to be closer to my children, my family, my wife’s family and friends,” Clarke said of his impending move to Kincardine, Ont., where he will be CAO for that municipality. “I was very selective in selecting opportunities and was using Sidney as a benchmark.”

Kincardine, he said, is perched on the shore of Lake Huron, and has many similarities to Sidney.

Mayor Larry Cross said Clarke will be missed on the staff roster and that he and his wife will both be missed as active volunteers in the community.

“He helped set up the new committee and commission structure,” Cross said, referring to the list of councillors and staff that will serve on various committees in this next three-year term. Cross added, “He’s been really actively involved in the new sculpture walk.”

With Clarke’s announcement so fresh, the town has not yet found a replacement, but will begin its search next week.

Clarke said he regrets he won’t be involved in the end stages of several projects he’s started, such as work in Iroquois Park, an engineering study on upgrades required to Beacon Wharf and a fresh look for businesses along Beacon Avenue.

He added he’s pleased with progress made on the lease agreement with Washington State Ferries and proud of having hired Valla Tinney as the town’s administrator – one of his first tasks on the job in Sidney.