Kevin McCarville stepping down as Cornwall’s chief administrative officer
After 18 years as Cornwall’s top unelected official, Kevin McCarville is about to stop supplying council with advice and policy guidance.
McCarville is retiring as the town’s chief administrative officer (CAO). His last day in office will be Aug. 17.
“Do some running, play some tennis, do some travelling,’’ McCarville said when asked what his immediate plans are.
After that, McCarville has “a couple of things in the works, but I haven’t signed anything yet. I anticipate working less than full time.’’
Prior to taking the role of CAO in Cornwall, McCarville spent four years as a human resource officer with the City of Charlottetown, seven years as administrator with the former municipality of West Royalty, a year in St. Eleanor’s and five years in Kinkora.
“I was quite content at the municipal level. I just found it an enjoyable environment and a good place to work, especially at the administrative level. There is always an opportunity to help people and get things done.’’
Over the past 18 years, McCarville has watched the Town of Cornwall grow as its property assessment has tripled and its population has increased by about 25 per cent.
There has also been a lot infrastructure work take place — a rebuilt Civic Centre, a new town hall, a new maintenance building, a new water reservoir, the Terry Fox Complex and Communities 13 Inc. partnered to create the APM Centre.
He said a lot of credit has to go to different federal and provincial programs for making much of the work possible.
“I think the town did a very good job spreading things around and addressing things on a systematic basis.’’
There were some stressful times, too, such as the boil water order in the fall of 2000 and the heavy rainfall from a bad storm in September 2008 washing out a portion of the
Trans-Canada Highway that runs through the town.
“I think it was on a Sunday evening. I had two calls about a lot of water. I drove out and, sure enough, we could hear the earth falling in underneath us.’’
The job also came with some nice moments, such as a visit from Rollie and Betty Fox, parents of Terry Fox, to open the complex named in Terry’s honour.
McCarville also lists efforts Mark and Dianne McQuaid made to involve everyone in the town when their son, Adam, won the Stanley Cup and hosted the parade in Cornwall.
“The things the McQuaids do to involve as many people as possible was top shelf, it really was.’’
His biggest surprise is seeing the Cornwall bypass highway actually get off the ground this year.
“There are many days I didn’t think I’d ever see it.’’
In the end, McCarville says he was lucky to work with good mayors and good councils from beginning to end.
When it came to providing council with sound advice, he remembers some advice he got himself from former Charlottetown CAO Harry Gaudet.
“He once told me ‘Just solve the problems, that’s the job, just solve the problem’. That always stuck with me.’’
Kevin McCarville will be 60 years old in a few months and figures now is a good time to step aside as chief administrative officer with the Town of Cornwall. “If I want to do something else, do it when you’re young enough that you’re mentally and physically capable of doing these things,’’ he said.