Abbotsford’s roads and utility chief left after just two months

Abbotsford’s roads and utility chief left after just two months

City announced hiring of Rafael Villareal in November, but he has returned to old job in Kelowna

The City of Abbotsford is again without a roads and utilities chief after the man hired for the role less than three months ago returned to his old job.

Rafael Villareal was hired in November to be the city’s new general manager of engineering and regional utilities after being headhunted by an “executive search” company. He took over for Peter Sparanese, who was promoted to the city manager post last March.

But just months after Villareal made his debut, the City of Abbotsford posted a job listing this week looking for a new engineering and utilities GM.

Villareal, it turns out, has since returned to his previous job managing the City of Kelowna’s transportation department.

On LinkedIn, he described his employment in Abbotsford as lasting until the end of December. He described it as a: “Very brief experience in Abbotsford leading the talented engineering, utilities and public works teams. Worked with an exceptional [senior leadership team] and Council in drafting strategic priorities for the term.”

Villareal had worked in Kelowna for five years prior to taking the Abbotsford job. A City of Kelowna staff member confirmed Villareal had returned to his previous job.

The city says an executive search company will look for a replacement, at no additional cost.

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tolsen@abbynews.com

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