First, a little history. Back in the spring of 2012, Collingwood Council terminated the contract with Kim Wingrove, the CAO, according to the terms in the agreement. In her place, council appointed the CEO of Collus, Ed Houghton, as interim CAO. In addition to his other duties, Houghton took the job without any compensation.
In January, 2013, council began the process of recruiting a new, permanent CAO. Houghton, an effective leader who was widely respected by staff and council, stepped down shortly afterwards. A consultant was found to begin the recruitment process.
In July, 2013, on a recommendation from the town’s then legal firm, council approved hiring John Brown, a retired former CAO, for a limited period of two months. As the media of the day reported,
Brown will only be CAO while the town searches for someone to take over the position permanently, but Mayor Sandra Cooper said it was pertinent the town have someone in the job.
In subsequent discussions, council agreed that it would be unfair to any incoming council, regardless of who was elected, to hire a permanent, full-time CAO so close to the next election. A new council, it was argued, should have the opportunity to choose its own CAO. Out of respect for a future council, the former council decided to keep the interim CAO in place so the new council could choose its own, new, permanent CAO.
But that, it seems, was a foolish gesture, soon hijacked by the new council.
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