Nakusp CAO quits to reunite with family

In the end, family triumphs everything.

Village of Nakusp chief administrative officer Cheryl Martens says that’s why she’s quit her job at the head of the municipal government.

“My daughter just had her third child, my third granddaughter, and with all this COVID I have not been able to go back and see my family. I miss my family,” she said.

“So I’ve decided to move back to Saskatchewan.”

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Martens is leaving just short of two years on the job, having joined after a stint as CAO of the community of Princeton. While COVID has increased her feeling of isolation, she says it’s a decision she’s been thinking about for a while now.

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“I just kind of wonder what I’m doing out here, when all my family are back there,” she told the Valley Voice. “The community has been friendly, but I just feel I need to be close to friends and family.

“It would have been different if I had family and friends here, but I don’t.”

Mayor Tom Zeleznik says he understands Martens’ reasoning, and says she will be missed.

“Cheryl has made a significant contribution and impact as our village’s CAO over the past two years including leadership, and vision through some difficult and challenging times, especially during this ongoing pandemic,” he told the Valley Voice.

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He especially cited her work on the new Official Community Plan, new bylaw enforcement rules, downtown revitalization, and shepherding the village through its biggest building boom in decades.

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“Cheryl worked hard with council through our strategic goals, and through several projects during her two-year tenure.”

Zeleznik says Martens will be replaced as soon as possible.

“Recruitment is now underway to fill the vacancy to lead the community through the upcoming busy years ahead, as the village prepares for the growth in the building boom and other major projects,” he said.

Martens will leave the position on May 14, giving her time to wrap up some ongoing projects. But she’s not sure what the future will hold for her when she returns to Saskatchewan.

“I just want to get settled in and determine where I go from there,” she said.

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Martens says she will miss working with village staff, and says she’s learned a lot in her two years here.

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“It’s very challenging, it’s a very challenging job. This community is highly active,” she said. “But my most memorable thing here will be climbing Saddleback Mountain, which I did two summers ago.

“It was awesome. I am terrified of heights, but I did it anyway.”

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