Council thanks outgoing CAO Victor Kumar for his service to Rossland
CAO Victor Kumar officially passes the torch to incoming CAO/CFO Cecile Arnott on Monday, Oct. 1—although he remains employed until the end of the year—and some council members took the opportunity at Kumar’s final regular council meeting on Sept. 17 to offer their thanks.
Members of council and Rossland city staff joined members of other city council’s and staff for a surprise celebration of Kumar’s career at the Garage restaurant on Sept. 12.
Coun. Jody Blomme said, “I was at the–I don’t know if I’m allowed to call it the ‘retirement party’–of the CAO, Mr. Kumar. That was a surprise party, and as far as I can tell it really worked. He was very surprised!”
“It was a great evening, very well attended. The Garage restaurant put on a great spread, delicious food. And the place was packed: I think 50 was the final number,” she said.
“There were a lot of speeches after dinner from ex-colleagues and past mayors, current mayors, and staff that have worked with him, giving speeches about all the great differences he made in their midst, in their workplaces,” Blomme said.
“It was great to see, ending on such a positive note. I think that’s an important thing, and a positive thing to end his career,” she concluded.
Coun. Kathy Wallace said, “I think I’ll pick up where Jody left off there, because I believe this is the last regular council meeting that we have Mr. Kumar attending.”
“I think it would have been worthwhile for our community to hear more of the speeches that were made at that celebration of his career,” she began. “I think we’ve been quite fortunate to have Mr. Kumar working here with us, and I think the community will see–particularly with the Columbia Ave. project–that Mr. Kumar has certainly contributed quite significantly to our community.”
“Through you, your worship, I say thank you,” Wallace said.
(Council meeting protocol requires questions and statements to staff to be directed through the mayor.)
Coun. Jill Spearn said, “I regret that I didn’t make the celebration for Mr. Kumar for a couple of personal reasons, but I do want to make sure, on record, that I thank Mr. Kumar for his work with the City of Rossland.”
“I appreciate that there were probably some great stories and accolades [at the celebration] about the work he’s done over his career in many municipalities,” she said.
“So thank you, through you, your worship, to Mr. Kumar. It’s been great having you here,” Spearn said.
Mayor Greg Granstrom ended the meeting with his thanks to the outgoing CAO.
“The most important thing I’d like to say this evening is to Mr. Kumar,” he began. “I had the privilege of MC-ing [the celebration] and I thought, ‘Oh Geez, I’m not very good at this.’ When I got in there and looked around, there was Dooley, and Chernoff, and Crockett, and mayors from all over the place, and administrators from all over the place.”
John Dooley is the mayor of Nelson, Lawrence Chernoff is the mayor of Castlegar, and Bert Crockett is mayor of Warfield
“Tracey [Butler, CO], did a marvellous job putting this thing together,” Granstrom said.
“Once the discussion started, it was wonderful to hear the comments, and the praise. The City of Rossland has been very, very fortunate, sir,” he said. “On behalf of council, I thank you very much.”