A week before election day, the province’s top liquor cop has announced her retirement.
In a memo to staff on Tuesday morning, Liquor Control and Licensing Branch general manager Karen Ayers said she would retire at the end of June. The reason for her lengthy notice period, she explained, is to allow for a smooth transition of the liquor portfolio to the next government.
Ayers mentioned in the memo that she has held various positions in the B.C. government, beginning as a summer student with the Corrections Service in 1977. She became a Court Services research officer in 1981.
“Over my career I have had the opportunity to work in and with diverse program areas, including residential tenancy, consumer protection, pension benefits standards, child-care programs and, of course, liquor,” Ayers wrote. “Fully one-third of my career has been in the liquor portfolio.”
Ayers joined LCLB in 1987 as a policy specialist. She was also deputy general manager of licensing and industry relations, liquor policy review director and briefly the deputy general manager of compliance and enforcement before assuming her current post in May 2006.
“Each of my positions has been interesting and rewarding, but none so much as my time here as general manager,” Ayers wrote. “I have very much enjoyed working with all of you – you are a talented, dedicated and hard-working group of individuals and the B.C. public service is indeed fortunate to have such a committed and passionate group of employees.”
For the 2011-12 fiscal year, Ayers was paid $150,868.