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The man behind the numbers

City budgets, debts, surpluses and cuts always cause a lot of stir in Nelson, but behind the numbers is a new face — a new treasurer.
Colin McClure made the jump from Selkirk College to the city in August.

Budgets, debts, surpluses and cuts from City Hall always cause a lot of stir in Nelson, but behind the numbers is a new face — a new chief financial officer.

Colin McClure started the position in August, but has lived in Nelson for many years.

“I worked for School District  8. That moved me from Revelstoke to Nelson with my family, including my son who was eight months old at the time,” said McClure.

He said that as many residents know, Nelson is a very special spot and his family was lucky to find a home here at the time.

After four years of working with the school district, the former treasurer passed away from a massive heart attack.

McClure said it was a huge shock. He stayed at the district for six months more months before taking a job at Selkirk College as the director of finance.

He crunched numbers at Selkirk for four and a half years before making the move to the City of Nelson.

“It was a great job at Selkirk College but it really started to wear going to Castlegar every day,” said McClure. “When the position came up at the city it was an opportunity for me to take a step up and be the head finance guy and to stretch myself and to cut my teeth.”

McClure said the experience with the city has been great so far but added there is a lot to learn.

“Now it feels like I’m trying to drink from a fire hose,” he said about the amount of learning that’s been involved.

As the chief financial officer for the city, McClure said he is the “point person.”

“It’s providing the financial leadership for the city, that’s the way that I look at it. I manage staff, I am accountable for the budget and the day-to-day operations,” he said.

“One of the challenges I face is that the past two positions I held were in education. The main focus and purpose of those entities was to educate students. With the city there are many different components that sometimes have significantly different stakeholders and purposes,” said McClure.

“When I think of all the departments from hydro, police/by-law, fire, library, parks and public works, planning, NYDC and transit and our commitment to providing excellent service in all these areas it is a real challenge.”

McClure was born in North Vancouver but grew up in Collingwood, Ont.

After developing a love for skiing in Ontario, he moved to Whistler where he worked in carpentry and learned how to ski powder.

Since then, he has moved from ski town to ski town eventually landing in Nelson.