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New Cremona CAO is on the job

Karen O’Connor most recently spent seven years as CAO of the Village of Lougheed, located about an hour’s drive east of Camrose
Karen O'Connor has been hired as Cremona's new chief administrative officer. Submitted photo

CREMONA - The Village of Cremona’s new chief administrative officer (CAO) says she hopes to help the community grow and prosper going forward.

Karen O’Connor officially took over the position on Dec. 1, replacing former CAO Rudy Friesen, who has moved on to become the Town of Bowden's CAO.

The CAO is the top employee in the municipality, overseeing all other staff. The position answers to the elected village council.

O’Connor says Cremona is well positioned to grow, including in terms of development.

“It’s a beautiful village,” she told the Albertan. “I was looking to purchase a home here but there is very few, I think two advertised, places available. What I get out of that is the village is a very sought after place to move to.

“What I want to see for the village is development. If you only have one or two homes available in your village that means you need to get developed. We need to grow this place. Cremona has all the markings to grow.”

O’Connor is originally from the Castor area where she was born and raised.

She started her career in municipal work with the Town of Hardisty for four years, and most recently spent seven years as CAO of the Village of Lougheed, located about an hour’s drive east of Camrose.

Now that she’s on the job in Cremona, O’Connor says getting more staff in place will be a priority.

“Getting supporting staff is important,” she said. “I’ve just hired a new public works foreman who will be starting in a couple of weeks. It’s important for our coverage to have staff.”

Having the municipality work closely with the business community will also be important to the long-term success of the village, she said.

Mayor Tim Hagen says the municipality is very pleased to have O’Connor onboard, and he is encouraged by her interest in seeing the village prosper and grow.

“She’s experienced as a CAO and we are glad to have her in Cremona,” said Hagen.

Dan Singleton

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