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Enterprise needs SAO, again
Former senior administrative officer Hermann Minderlein leaving for job in Alberta

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services
Monday, July 13, 2015

In a situation that is all too familiar for the community, the Hamlet of Enterprise is searching for a new senior administrative officer (SAO).

Hermann Minderlein, the current SAO, has accepted a position in Alberta and will be leaving his position in Enterprise on July 17.

"It's purely personal," he said of his decision, explaining he received a job offer where he previously worked. "It's actually a community where I do have a home currently and my wife resides there."

Minderlein will be returning to a former job as treasurer with the Town of High Prairie.

The outgoing SAO said he enjoyed his time with the Hamlet of Enterprise, and he and council worked very well together.

Minderlein said Enterprise previously had a bit of reputation as a "revolving door" for SAOs.

"There was a fear from council that this is going to further darken the image that people have of the community," he said of his departure, although he noted that is contrary to what he heard at this year's annual general meeting of the NWT Association of Communities.

"The impression of Enterprise in the SAO world is definitely a lot better than what it was at one time. So I'm expecting we're going to get some quality applicants, actually," he said.

Minderlein began working in Enterprise in mid-September. Mayor John Leskiw II said council is happy with what Minderlein accomplished in Enterprise and how

things are running smoothly for the hamlet.

"It was a major blow to staff and to the council when they were told he is going to leave," said the mayor.

Leskiw also noted there has been an issue in Enterprise of going through a number of SAOs.

"I know that, for a while there, our reputation was pretty down," he said.

The previous difficulty in keeping a permanent SAO was one of the factors in the hamlet and the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA) entering into a co-management agreement early last year. The agreement officially ended in September, which coincided with the arrival of Minderlein.

Leskiw noted a community government is required by law to have an SAO, and he hopes council will appoint somebody in the interim at its July 6 meeting.

The Department of Municipal and Community Affairs will assist the hamlet in finding a new permanent SAO.

Leskiw said, based on his discussions with the department, a new SAO might be available sometime in early September.

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