Shortly before retiring from his municipal career, City of Courtenay CAO Sandy Gray received a huge honour for his contributions to the profession over nearly 40 years.
Gray was handed a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal on Monday by Comox Valley MLA Don McRae, on behalf of the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA), which nominated Gray in consultation with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).
Gray will retire from the City of Courtenay at the end of March after working as the City’s chief administrative officer for the past 10 years.
“It’s an absolute thrill to be a recipient of this wonderful award, particularly to recognize the Queen’s 60th year on the throne,” said Gray after he received the medal. “It’s something I never expected and it’s just wonderful to be a recipient of it.”
Gray has been in senior management positions with various municipalities on Vancouver Island, including Nanaimo (10 years) and the Township of Esquimalt (13 years). He has been in a CAO position for almost 26 years; the CAO is responsible for the overall management of municipal operations and is the senior advisor to council.
Besides his contributions to communities through his work in municipalities, Gray also contributed to local government professional associations.
He served as the foundation chair of the Municipal Administration Training Institute, which gives training to local government administration. He was also president of the Vancouver Island Local Government Management Association and vice-president of the provincial body of the Local Government Management Association.
Fittingly, McRae presented the medal during a Courtenay council meeting, where McRae sat as a councillor for a number of years before he went into provincial politics.
“Sandy has spent time at this table helping the City of Courtenay, its councillors, its staff, be the best they can be,” McRae said as he presented the award.