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New CAO, new code of conduct, no sanctions

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 15:36 -- Chris Cooke
cover of First Monday

Sarnia is getting a new Chief Administrative Officer; the code of conduct is being revamped and sanctions against the Mayor are in the throes of being removed. “We’ve made a lot of progress in less than 100 days,” says Bill Dennis noting, “everything is falling into place”.

At deadline, the City was making an offer to a candidate from the Greater Toronto Area to be Sarnia’s new Chief Administrative Officer.

The individual is in his late 40’s and is described as “dynamic with more than 20 years of experience in municipal government”. He is one of 40 candidates who applied for the job.

Dennis believes the City will end up with someone who is the polar opposite to Margaret Misek – Evans who left the City with a buy out reported to be slightly less than $400,000.

According to Dennis the individual being approached is “business friendly and the type of guy who will motivate people and get us back to common sense government”.

The previous Council tried to manufacture chaos says Dennis saying he wouldn’t be surprised if the new CAO brings in his own team with “cool ideas.”

Bradley says he expects the starting salary will be between $150,000.00 and $160,000.00 with a one year review. “A one year test drive I think will be important”.

Bradley says the new CAO will reshape the municipality and bring transparency to City Hall. He is optimistic about his ability to get along with Misek – Evans’ replacement.

“We have to get it right this time,” says Dennis. “We can’t make the same mistake twice”.

The Code of Conduct is being changed to allow the public to speak to Council without the blessing of Clerk Dianne Gould – Brown. “I want debate in the Council Chamber without the public or Councillors afraid to speak. We shouldn’t be shutting people down,” says Bradley.

Dennis says the previous Council used the Code of Conduct to stack the deck against the Mayor. “Everything they did backfired on them”.

As for the sanctions Dennis says they will be lifted, the Mayor will have 24-hour access to City Hall. “He has been operating as Mayor with his hands tied behind his back and that is about to end”.

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