Where have all the Town Staff gone?
Posted by auroracitizen on August 25, 2008
Senior staff at the Town Hall are leaving at an alarming rate. Since our new Council started, under the much vaunted open and transparent leadership style of Mayor Phyllis Morris, we have lost our Director of Planning, Director of Legal Services, Director of Public Works, Director of Corporate Service (leaving this year), and now the CAO. That’s 5 of the 8 person Management Team.
The years of experience lost are significant and the costs associated with recruitment, re-training and lost opportunities without these people in place is immeasurable. The termination costs will also be considerable given the CAO had over 3 years left in his contract.
Of equal concern is the abrupt manner of the recent departure of the CAO, a well-respected member of the municipal community who the previous Council hired for a 6 year contract to provide consistent leadership for the town. It has been reported he was “escorted” from the building.
What may be more telling is that two councillors were unable to participate in the decision as one was recuperating from surgery and one was on vacation. Given that Council was informed in advance that the two councillors would not be present, why did Council go forward so abruptly with a decision with such far-reaching implications without a full Council present?
Why the urgency? Why not wait until all of Council could be present and a “special meeting” be called. The mayor has called 4 “emergency” closed session meetings this summer so far, what difference would one more make? The implication is clear — a swift decision was made and executed.
The impact on staff morale should also be of great concern. One has to wonder if this is a purge or is there some staff-wide malaise that has caused all these departures.
At this point, the only members of the Senior Management team from last term still standing are Al Downey, Director of Leisure Services and John Gutteridge, Director of Finance/Treasurer. I guess we will just have to await their fate.
Maybe I’m the only one concerned about the state of affairs at town hall, let me know.
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