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Holly Walters named new PAB Town Clerk

Holly Walters moves into her new role as Town Clerk in January 2024. — © René J. Roy / Wreckhouse Press

By Jaymie White Local Journalism Initiative Reporter PORT AUX BASQUES — Now that Town Clerk Nadine Osmond is getting settled in her new role as Town Manager, Holly Walters is preparing to take over as the new Town Clerk for Channel-Port aux Basques. Walters has held an administrative position with the town for years. “I asked for a trial basis to see if I’m comfortable with doing the work,” said Walters. “If it’s too overwhelming, then I can step back into my own role.” Even though her training began before the holiday season, the winter months can prove to be a bit more difficult to try and learn a new position. “Winter months are a hard time, with sicknesses, and trainings popping up, things (infrastructure) breaking. It hasn’t been that easy for the training process, but you won’t learn until you’re into it,” said Walters. “So you have to sit into it with things breaking, things popping up unexpectedly, to experience, I guess, the full aspect of what you’re getting into as well.” Walters did what she could to shadow Osmond, while Osmond shadowed former Town Manager Leon MacIsaac, who retired at the end of the year. It was a bit of a juggling act. “I’m shadowing her as much as I possibly can. She’s in the process of switching positions, so she’s training, and I’m training, she’s training me, and Leon’s training her,” said Walters. “It’s not really challenging, but it’s like, ‘okay, these are the tasks,’ and it’s the tasks that I normally do in my regular work just, say, are a little bit amped up now. So I’ve already got a general idea of the work that I have to do with bank cheques and stuff like that. I know the gist of the financial part. I do know that part of it, but it’s just the process. So then it’s just like notes and it’s one of those things once you do it, you know.” Because Osmond has just assumed her new role, Walters more or less moved into hers at the same time. Walters is accustomed to multi-tasking and adapting quickly, but she still admitted to a bit of nervousness. “I’m excited, nervous, like with anything new. You’re going to be excited. You’re going to be nervous. You don’t know what to expect, big or small,” said Walters. “I’ve worked in an office atmosphere since 2007, and I’ve worked in a bunch of different administrative roles, dealership administration. I worked at insurance administration, and I was an insurance broker. I do have my insurance broker’s license. I had a bunch of different roles, and I worked at Marine Atlantic doing tickets and reservations and the like. It’s all office atmosphere. I also worked at the hotel, so I did office, front desk and bar all at the same time, so I’m used to multitasking as well.” Her work with the town came up shortly after she moved back to Port aux Basques. “I moved back from Alberta in 2017 and I went back because I did my office administration course and I did the first year and I quit after the first year and I graduated with a certificate. Then I went back to school, got my second year of the office (course) I’m in, and I did electives into Simply Accounting, so I did more into the financial part of it, and then I applied for a bunch of jobs that were around town and I was working at one point on call with the school board and casual calling with Marine Atlantic and here at the town hall,” said Walters. “So I had bits and pieces of jobs all at the same time, so I would work here on Monday to Friday, and then I would do the call ins wherever else as needed.” Walters said that she received a lot of support when she took the interim position. “My family is super proud of me for taking such a big role on, and they all have faith in me, of course,” said Walters. “More than what I have, but friends, my friends do too. They’re super supportive.” Walters has resources available and people she can call on for assistance if she needs it. “I’ve connected with all of the other towns as well, and I’m a friendly person, so I connect with people easily, it’s true,” said Walters. “And so I had these relationships formed long before coming up here that you can bounce things off of each other and I can call down to Tammy (Battiste-Farrell, Town Clerk for Rose Blanche – Harbour Le Cou) and be like, ‘Tammy, man. I’m trying to figure out the invoices for this,’ and so it is this like, nice relationship.” Walters fully expects that there will be challenges as she adapts to her new role. “Going from a coworker to a leader is what I feel is going to be my biggest hurdle to overcome,” said Walters. “But I’m just curious about every aspect of it. There is so much work that has to be done in this office, and it’s just mind blowing to see. The work that I’ve done downstairs, this is why it needs to be done, for this reason, and for this and this to fall in place.” So far Walters has only sat in on one council meeting. Town Clerks regularly attend council meetings to record the minutes, and assist as needed, like with correspondence. “I love it. I actually really enjoyed the council meeting,” said Walters. “It was my very first one, and I really enjoyed it. Really liked it a lot, actually. It was very informative.”

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