Councillor proposes new city employee to handle strategic plan; position would pay $60,000+

Cornwall Coun. Todd Bennett listens during a city budget meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. Bennett is proposing a new employee for the corporation who would handle the city's strategic plan and other big scope projects. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – City councilman Todd Bennett has proposed adding a new position to the city payroll to handle the municipality’s strategic plan and other projects with a big scope.

Bennett told fellow councillors at Wednesday’s budget meeting while there would be public outcry about adding another salary to the payroll, “in the long run (we can) save ourselves money” by having the person in an advocacy role to secure government funding.

Coun. Carilyne Hebert supported Bennett’s plan, adding the person could work on the strategic plan as well as the environment and waterfront committees.

But Coun. Claude McIntosh took issue with other councillors charging forward with adding to the ranks. He said councillors were “well versed on this, but I just got this at 3 p.m. There is no salary, no terms.”

McIntosh questioned where the idea of the job was coming from because he hasn’t heard from city staff that they can’t handle the workloads they have now.

Coun. Glen Grant said he couldn’t support the report because of “too much misinformation.”

Council agreed to defer the matter and ask for a report that would come for the March meeting.

While she agreed to put it off, Mayor Bernadette Clement said she didn’t want to keep delaying plans that could grow the city. “I’m tired of deferring the success of this city.”

Coun. Dean Hollingsworth also proposed adding $60,000 into the operations budget for the possible position to cover part of this year should the employee be added. That was passed by council.

CAO Maureen Adams said the report would “set up (the position) to be successful” and would be “well defined,” which she guessed would be an annual full-time salary in excess of $60,000 with a benefit package. The job would be non-union.

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