Hay River appoints new senior administrator

Glenn Smith is Hay River’s new senior administrative officer (SAO), taking over from the retiring Judy Goucher.

Smith, who is from Hay River, has spent the past two years training for the role as assistant SAO.

He has helped oversee the construction of a new pavilion, a multi-year tourism development and marketing plan, the Town of Hay River’s response to a landfill fire, and a flood evacuation.


He previously spent 18 years working for the NWT Power Corporation.

Town council passed all three readings of the bylaw appointing Smith the next indeterminate SAO on June 30, as first reported by NNSL.

Smith told Cabin Radio the transition has been quick due to the speed with which the bylaw was passed.

He said he had spent his first week handling the transition from Goucher, who is staying on to help until the end of the July, and building a stronger working relationship with Mayor Kandis Jameson.

Smith said he was first approached by the Town two years ago with the opportunity to eventually become the senior administrator.


“It was packaged as a succession position for the SAO position and a development opportunity,” Smith said. He was given a training plan including mentorship from Goucher and access to the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs’ local government administrators program.

“It just seemed like a good career opportunity that fit with my values and where I was with my career,” said Smith.

“I’m happy to be able to now move into this role and provide what I can for the community.

“Where I take most pride – I give a lot of credit to Judy – is the team that we’ve been able to assemble so far, and being able to recruit some strong players that are in strong alignment with the direction that we’re taking.”


Smith also hopes to “ensure we have that philosophy in place so we are continually looking to do better,” particularly in the areas of customer service, communication, and transparency.

He wants to improve the Town’s asset management system and see more work on beautifying Hay River, to “just really make the town a more enjoyable place to work or live.”

The Town has not yet started a search for a new assistant SAO. While the position has been budgeted for this year, Smith said the Town may end up “balancing other factors that are impacting our budget.”