'It's just time for some new experiences': Iqaluit CAO Amy Elgersma resigns from city

In the four years Elgersma was chief administrative officer, the city saw a number of disasters, like when Iqaluit's biggest store, Northmart, caught fire, and several water emergencies. Rod Mugford is set to be the interim CAO.

Elgersma says she is set to take a new job with a municipality in Ontario

A portrait of a woman.
Amy Elgersma is a long-time employee for the City of Iqaluit and has been the chief administrative officer for the last four years. (Jackie McKay/CBC)

After 23 years of work for the city, Iqaluit's chief administrative officer is saying goodbye to her role — and to the community.

In a letter to Mayor Kenny Bell and city councillors, Amy Elgersma said it has been a privilege to serve the city for over two decades, including the last four as the chief administrative officer. 

"The longevity of my career in Iqaluit I think shows how much I really care about the community and the city as an organisation," said Elgersma. 

Elgersma moved to the city in 1999 and began work as a lifeguard at the swimming pool at the Frobisher Inn, then worked her way up into youth programming and to director of recreation. 

In the four years Elgersma held the position as CAO, the city saw a number of disasters, like when Iqaluit's biggest store, Northmart, caught fire, and several water emergencies.

"There's definitely been some some challenges," she said.

Elgersma said she appreciated the flexibility and dedication of city staff who helped her weather the various emergencies, and who stepped into various roles when needed.

"The role is a really big commitment. It really, really does involve a lot of time, a lot of dedication. And I know that a lot of people see me ... front and centre, but I've got a team behind me, who really support me here," she said.

"That team involves city staff, but also the mayor and council who have been really supportive during my term." 

Elgersma's last day on the job is Nov. 11, and she'll be using her remaining vacation days until Dec. 20. In her letter to the city, dated Sept. 13, she said she'll be available for questions and "occasional meetings" throughout January. She's set to start a new job with a municipality in Ontario, though she did not elaborate further on those details.

"I enjoyed working for the city of Iqaluit immensely. It has been a wonderful experience for me and it is hard to leave, and it is really hard to leave the community," she said.

"I feel like … I am a part of the community and it's been a really welcoming home for me. So it is hard to leave, but it's just time for some new experiences and new opportunities."

Rod Mugford, the city's current chief enforcement officer, has been appointed to be the new interim CAO, Mayor Kenny Bell confirmed. He's set to start next week, working alongside Elgersma until her last day. He'll fill in until a new CAO is appointed.

In a post to Twitter, Bell wrote that Elgersma will be missed as a city employee.

"A huge loss for our city, Amy is a powerhouse and she will do great in her new role," Bell wrote.

"It's been a pleasure to work with Amy, I'm wishing her all the best and success that is coming to her."

With files from Jackie McKay