City under hiring freeze for remainder of 2018

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – The City of Cornwall will have to go through more checks and balances if it looks to fill any positions this year.

In a vote of 6-5, the budget committee passed a motion from Coun. Andre Rivette and supported by Coun. David Murphy, to institute a hiring freeze until the end of the year.

The move is somewhat symbolic as any city manager, looking to fill position, after today (Friday), will have to go through the CAO’s office to justify hiring.

City HR Manager Geoff Clarke told the committee there are 77 employees eligible to retire this year. Three have already retired and four are making plans.

As for city firefighters, Chief Pierre Voisine indicated that there are were plans for two firefighters to retire this year. (Corrected from an earlier version suggesting one had retired and two more were to go)

Meantime, the committee will also be doing a comprehensive review of all staffing at a future council meeting behind closed doors.

Due to the Municipal Act, any discussion about someone on staff that could be identified, has to be held in private, or the city could face an investigation and reprimand.

That motion passed 10-1 with Coun. Bernadette Clement the lone dissenter. Clement said she felt very uncomfortable meeting in private and found the motion was too vague.