Cornwall council creates new full-time position in CAO’s office

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – Cornwall City Council has created a new full-time salaried position in the office of the chief administrative officer.

As the name suggests, the strategic planning coordinator will be in charge of driving the city’s strategic plan. They will report to CAO Maureen Adams.

The job comes with a $68,236 starting salary and with benefits calculated in, which is roughly 30 per cent of the salary, the job will cost the municipality about $88,700 to start. The salary grid will top out at $82,942 or a cost of roughly $107,820 with benefits factored in.

“We don’t have one person focusing on our strategic plan so why have a strategic plan? This person will work toward that strategic plan. I think overall this is going to move our city forward,” Coun. Glen Grant said in moving ahead with the new hire Monday night.

Mayor Bernadette Clement says the timing is right for this new job.

“I understand the comment, is this the time to do something new? Yes, it is. This is exactly the right time. As we’ve seen in our own community, people jumping on opportunities, people struggling yes, but people finding ways and ideas and pushing forward. It is our job to continue to support that and create and inspire people in that direction and that is what a strategic plan is for,” the mayor said.

Those in opposition say it isn’t the right time for the corporation to be adding to the payroll while local businesses are closing and reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think the position is a good initiative but for me…I feel the timing is not good. COVID is not done. We’re not starting a fresh new start,” Coun. Maurice Dupelle said.

“I don’t think, in this particular climate, I’m not overly comfortable going to the community and saying, even though you’re peeling back, we’re going to add,” Coun. Dean Hollingsworth added.

While other municipalities might have a similar position, “I don’t think the community is necessarily on board for this and quite frankly I think all of us would agree we answer to John Q. Public over and above all else,” Hollingsworth stated.

He also noted that the position will cost the city over $1 million over the next decade.

During the Clement administration, the city has created at least three new full-time positions and at least one part-time position, council heard.

The city has $60,000 in this year’s budget to cover the new position. It will take about two to three months to complete the hiring process.

How they voted:

For – Claude McIntosh, Syd Gardiner, Carilyne Hebert, Glen Grant, Todd Bennett, Elaine MacDonald, Bernadette Clement

Against – Dean Hollingsworth, Maurice Dupelle, Justin Towndale, Eric Bergeron

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