The Town of Pictou is set to welcome a new chief administrative officer with Dan Troke taking up his new role on Jan. 8 next year.
Mayor Jim Ryan said that Troke, who worked with the Nova Scotia government followed by the Niagara housing authority, will help the town achieve its long-term plan of economic and population growth.
“Not only does he have a long record in financial management but also a long record of dealing with government agencies,” Ryan told The News.
While at the province, Troke worked as the co-ordinator of accounting and financial reporting with the Department of Agriculture, director of taxation and fiscal policy at the Department of Finance, and president and chief executive officer of Housing Nova Scotia.
After leaving the province, he moved to Ontario for his current job as chief executive officer at Niagara Regional Housing.
His qualifications include an MBA from Saint Mary’s University, and a BBA from the University College of Cape Breton.
Ryan said that Troke has a track record of work in the private, not-for-profit and public sectors, ensuring continual policy development, financial planning and delivering various programs.
The mayor added that Troke had strong team-building and mentorship skills that made him an ideal candidate as Pictou’s CAO.
“Dan was selected from a strong field of candidates as the person most able to support us as we move the Town of Pictou toward the implementation of our long-term plan,” said Ryan in an earlier media release.
He told The News that Pictou has faced population decline in recent years, down to about 3,300 inhabitants according to his figures. The 2016 federal census recorded a slightly lower figure of 3,186.
In the mid-20th century, the population was higher, as the town was a shipbuilding centre and people came to take jobs in this and other local industries.
Ryan said more people will come as commercial development gets underway, together with better infrastructure.
The town is currently carrying out a major water treatment and paving upgrade, while more schools, hospitals and doctors will also help attract newcomers, according to Ryan.
“We have to work towards all these social aspects,” he said.
Troke is replacing Scott Conrod, who left the town in September to take a new position at the Municipality of the County of Kings.
Since then, mayor and council have collectively filled the vacant CAO role.
While challenging, Ryan said that he enjoyed the extra responsibility, which tested his ability to both plan for the future and respond to events.
“Basically as mayor I’ve been leading that part of the job,” said Ryan.
The News tried reaching out to Troke through the Niagara Housing Authority, but was unable to reach him before press deadline.