CAO search be­gins for County CAO

All four coun­ties in Cape Bre­ton have seen top ad­min­is­tra­tive turnover in the past year

The Victoria Standard - - Front Page - ANNE FARRIES

Af­ter all four mu­nic­i­pal Chief Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fi­cers (CAO) on Cape Bre­ton Is­land re­tired, re­signed or were fired dur­ing the past year, Vic­to­ria County is look­ing for pro­fes­sion­als to head the hunt for its new top ex­ec­u­tive.

County War­den Bruce Mor­ri­son said August 25 that Coun­cil is look­ing for re­cruit­ment firms to sift through can­di­dates to re­place Sandy Hud­son, who re­tires as CAO in Oc­to­ber.

“We will send out an in­vi­ta­tion to sev­eral re­cruit­ment com­pa­nies,” Mor­ri­son said. “They’ll ini­ti­ate the search and help us with ad­ver­tise­ments and se­lec­tion of qual­ity can­di­dates.”

Hud­son was tal­ented and Coun­cil rec­og­nized that, Mor­ri­son said.

“He was very good, and we will cer­tainly miss him. He was with us for 15 years, and we’ve ap­pre­ci­ated the work he did and his gen­uine in­ter­est in op­er­at­ing the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.”

Hud­son’s stint as CAO ends of­fi­cially Oc­to­ber 15, but with va­ca­tion time ac­cu­mu­lated, he cleaned out his of­fice weeks ago.

Leanne Maceachen, Di­rec­tor of Fi­nance, is the in­terim CAO.

The turnover in sim­i­lar po­si­tions on the is­land has been high re­cently.

In the CBRM, Marie Walsh took over in July from Michael Mer­ritt, who re­signed in March af­ter three years on the job.

Rich­mond County’s War­ren Olsen re­signed in Novem­ber amid a spend­ing scan­dal, and was re­placed by Maris Freima­nis on a six-month con­tract. Freima­nis said at the out­set he would not ex­tend the term. Since then, Louis Digout has signed on, but only for a sim­i­lar pe­riod.

And, In­ver­ness County CAO Joe O’con­nor an­nounced in August that he is re­tir­ing af­ter 42 years.

Vic­to­ria County will cast a “pro­vin­cial and na­tional net” to re­place re­tir­ing Hud­son, Mor­ri­son said.

“One of the rea­sons we de­cided to go with a search com­pany is they have the ex­per­tise and will ad­ver­tise in ar­eas that we can’t ac­cess,” he said. “A lot of mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties do that, and it’s no dif­fer­ent for us.”

The new CAO will be re­spon­si­ble for un­der­stand­ing the Mu­nic­i­pal Govern­ment Act, which reg­u­lates coun­cil.

“That’s crit­i­cal,” Mor­ri­son said. “Also, peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills, be­cause you’re deal­ing with the public.”

Part of the chal­lenge for the new CAO will be re­liev­ing coun­cil of the day-to-day du­ties of run­ning lo­cal govern­ment with­out over­step­ping de­ci­sion­mak­ing bound­aries.

“That’s why I think most of the peo­ple will need a pro­fes­sional back­ground,” Mor­ri­son said. “It’s the most im­por­tant job in govern­ment for any mu­nic­i­pal­ity. They di­rect staff. They over­see the bud­get. They’re re­spon­si­ble for pol­icy and plan­ning a lot of the day-to-day ac­tiv­ity. They’re also re­spon­si­ble for hir­ing most of the staff.”

Bad­deck, with its lake­side at­trac­tions, is a good draw­ing card for high-cal­i­bre can­di­dates, Mor­ri­son said.

“Clearly, there will be a lot of in­ter­est in this po­si­tion be­cause of the lo­ca­tion.”

Re­tir­ing CAO Sandy Hud­son

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.