Who is Isabell Hadford?
by EVAN MATTHEWS
It is dominating headlines — the Province has stepped in to aid in the restructure and repair of McBride’s Council in the form of a provincial advisor — but who is Isabell Hadford?
Though appointed by the Province, Hadford owns her own consulting business and says she isn’t a Provincial employee, but rather subcontracted.
“I contract out to local governments to help them with issues they need help on,” says Hadford.
“I help them if they’re looking at hiring a new CAO or writing bylaws, anything they have on (the go) or need an interim person to help them,” she says.
Working in municipal governments for over 25 years, Hadford says she has experience in a wide array of government jobs including working as a CAO in various communities for 17 years of her career, and working as President of the Local Government Management Association of B.C.
In reference to McBride, Hadford says the administration is already proving it’s ready for a new era and to start moving forward, simply in contacting the Province.
“It tells me they’re serious about their situation, and moving forward,” says Hadford. “The next step is the by-election and having a full council in place again,” she says.
Hadford is bringing forward her ideas and suggestions pertaining to McBride, according to Mayor Loranne Martin, which she says has been a big help during a time where the Village office is shorthanded and in somewhat of disarray.
Both Hadford and Mayor Martin pointed to Council’s eagerness to put the past behind them, and begin to focus on positivity to not only stabilize McBride’s Council, but the town itself
Whether dealing with issues like bylaws, as Hadford mentioned, or bigger matters like getting McBride Council ready for what’s coming next, Hadford hasn’t been afraid to weigh in, according to Mayor Martin.
“We’ve only had her for a few weeks now, but the working relationship has been really good,” says Mayor Martin. “She’s a very knowledgeable woman.”
Hadford will also help oversee the coming by-election in McBride.
Karla Jensen of the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George has been named Chief Election Officer, while Hadford was named Deputy Chief Election Officer.
“The nomination period starts (Jan. 17) and ends (Jan. 27), so anyone wishing to stand for office should get their papers in,” says Hadford.
Both Hadford and Mayor Martin pointed to Council’s eagerness to put the past behind them, and begin to focus on positivity to not only stabilize McBride’s Council, but the town itself.
“They’re certainly on top of getting things back into some sort of normality,” says Hadford.
“The current members of council are meeting on a regular basis and hearing from the public… They’re still dealing with municipal business even though there are only two of them, and they’re still sitting in on committees they’re members of.
“Their biggest challenge right now is that there is only two members, so I’m sure it’ll be much better for them once they have a full quorum again,” she says, though she says new challenges will surely arise in getting the new councillors up to speed.
Both Mayor Martin and Councillor Rick Thompson have committed to attending the 2017 Local Government Leadership Academy’s Leadership Forum, Hadford noted, which offers training to elected officials on a number of topics related to municipal governance — a huge positive, she says.
The Province, to date, hasn’t put a timeline on Hadford’s stay in McBride, and Mayor Martin reiterated the notion, saying there is no definitive timeline for Hadford’s departure.