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Time to move on

Arviat SAO accepts job with Nunavut government

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Arviat (Aug 14/02) - It was the end of an era in Arviat this past Friday when Darren Flynn walked out of his office for the final time as the hamlet's senior administrator.

Flynn had lived in Arviat for the past 10 years, almost nine of which he spent as the hamlet's senior administrative officer.

The former SAO left the hamlet to take a position in Rankin Inlet with Community Government and Transportation.

He assumes his position on Sept. 8.

Flynn says the biggest challenge facing Kivalliq SAOs is to keep their hamlets solvent on funding levels that date back to 1995.

"SAOs have to consistently maintain services with the same budgets they've had for years, while costs are constantly increasing," says Flynn. "And, I would harbour a guess, that's not going to change any time soon."

Flynn says the biggest change in Arviat during the past 10 years is its rise in population.

When he arrived in 1992, about 1,400 people called Arviat home.

That number has since grown to almost 2,000.

"There's also been a tremendous number of homes built since '92. When I first arrived, the Access program was just getting started and my wife (Sarah) was the program officer for most of the units here," he recalls.

"I would say about 80 houses were built during my 10 years here."

Flynn worked with five different administrations during his tenure as SAO.

He served under current Mayor David Alagalak twice, as well as Mark Kalluak, Ralph King and Peter Kritaqliluk.

"Each of the five mayors and the numerous councillors I worked with all had their good qualities. I couldn't say one council was better than the other. They all did their best to improve the community," he says.

Flynn married Sarah in 1986 when he was managing the Co-op in Repulse Bay.

The couple have a daughter, Lori, and a son, Sapa.

He says his family has been totally supportive in his decision to accept the new position.

"I see the opportunity with CG&T as a natural progression from my former job as SAO.

"I'm also still naive enough to think I can make a solid contribution to Nunavut."

Flynn says he wants people to know he never grew tired of Arviat.

"I was perfectly happy as SAO and I would probably have stayed that way for another five years or so, but I couldn't say no when this opportunity came along."