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Council appoints Community Development Commission members

Prince Edward County Council has appointed members of its new Community Development Commission – intended to reflect the diversity of community development partners to achieve council’s economic development objectives of :
• Creating sustainable jobs that are well matched to employment needs and opportunities
• Supporting the County’s profile as an attractive economic climate with business opportunities
• Build on local assets, resources, heritage and innovation, while
• Increasing the municipal tax base.

“The Commission is a vehicle in which we can combine resident expertise along with the resources of our community business and tourism organizations,” said mayor Peter Mertens. “TASTE the County has significant experience stimulating agricultural and tourism growth in the County through quality enhancement and marketing initiatives. PECCTAC advocates the importance of balancing economic, social and environmental considerations when promoting tourism and commerce in the County. Along with the perspective of our councillor and citizen representatives, this model will synchronize these community development efforts.”

County residents John Giraudy, Blake Vader and Tim Ward will join TASTE the County CEO Jeremiah MacKenzie, Prince Edward County Chamber of Tourism and Commerce (PECCTAC) General Manager Michael McLeod, and councillors Barb Proctor and Terry Shortt to complete the membership of the commission.

Giraudy will provide executive experience in business development and strategic planning along with specialization in marketing, sales, and communications. He has demonstrated an investment in the County in health care governance and continues to volunteer services to the local hospital and provide mentorship for small business initiatives.

Vader brings significant knowledge gained through his decades of experience in the agricultural industry. Locally known for his family business of livestock, crop and market gardening, he will also contribute his knowledge of the local tourism industry, having recently launching a successful vacation trailer rental business.

Ward brings a broad understanding of the challenges and opportunities for independent businesses in the County as gained through the operation of his family business – Quinte’s Isle Campark. He will contribute knowledge gained through ownership of a successful tourism-based business, along with his experience creating employment opportunities for local residents.

“We were very pleased with the community interest in Commission membership, and the quality of applicants,” said councillor Barb Proctor. “Appointed members have demonstrated the enthusiasm and experience necessary to help us achieve our ultimate goal of building a sustainable community.”
“The diverse perspectives of members and associated organizations will help the Commission maintain a balanced focus on the County’s economy and social, cultural and environmental aspects,” says councillor Terry Shortt. “This collaborative model is a unique way to work with local community members to achieve our community development goals.”

Initiatives of the new department will complement the commission in the development of community policy, programming, and planning. Gerry Murphy, former Commissioner of Planning and Building Services, will provide leadership and support as the County’s Director of Community Development until the end of 2012. Recruitment is under way to select a new director, with an intended start date of fall 2012. Community Development Coordinators are expected to be hired in the next few weeks to complete the staff complement.

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  1. Doris Lane says:

    $150,000.00 a year seems a lot of money for the CAO of this one horse town and county. What does the CAO of Toronto get.
    As far as council goes we have 3 or 4 excellent
    councillors. The rest not so great.
    The CAO job seems pretty high compared to people in the County who are doing really important jobs.
    I thought people did not get much holiday in the first year of employment.
    Oh well so be it and we are flapping our gums for nothing because no one is listening to us but you would be surprised the number of people who read this but never put forth a comment.

  2. m york says:

    Yes, we do know in FACT the CAO is on holidays for eight weeks. All you have to do is call Shire Hall in which i did. Also according to the Picton Gazette, Council decided to step up to the bat and take back the delegation of duties which was going to be read and signed a third time on July 24. with a vote of 9-6. I encourage everyone to read it. As I have been saying without transparency were all headed for trouble, not to mention giving one single person so much power is a scary thing. Way to go Council. Will have to be watching to see if there are more holiday to come when he returns on Aug 20, also verified by Shire Hall. I wish I had a job like that… lol

  3. Marnie says:

    Well said Chris. Do we even know for certain that the CAO is on vacation now or that he had four weeks vacation last year? This may be fact but it could also be just a rumour. The man is entitled to vacation time. He seems to be trying to turn things around so maybe we should give him a chance.

  4. Chris Keen says:

    Woah everyone … let’s take a deep breath.

    There’s a lot of speculation that’s perhaps more than a little light on facts here.

    Firstly: there is no way any Councillor will dare comment on this site. Guaranteed. (As an aside, I’m not sure they would ever admit that they read it – but I bet they do!!)

    Merling’s contract? Guaranteed he’ll be on the Sunshine List in 2013 at well in excess of the $150,000+ per year he earned in his last position. Apparently that’s the salary needed to hire a CAO in Ontario.

    Holidays – that’s between him and whoever hired him. Should this be transparent – absolutely! Is he getting one week, or eight weeks – who knows? Perhaps that’s what we have to provide to have hire CAO but that’s a whole other discussion about government and civil servant salaries in general.

    If he gets a pension from a previous job, that has no bearing on what happens here – hate it as you might.

    So, if I’m right and he’s paid in excess of $150,000, and you’re right, M. York, that he gets eight weeks vacation, where does that leave us??

    Council is not full-time – and they are NOT elected to administer the day-to-day business of the County. We do actually need a full-time person to oversee and run the administration of the County.

    Already there is some serious, and in my opinion, stupid push back to some suggestions Dewling has made to minor administrative changes to the way things are done. Apparently some councilors believe there cannot ever be a single decision made in the County , on any topic whatsoever, that does not require their input.

    These councilors clearly feel it makes more sense to be buried in the minutiae of every decision made, no matter how small or inconsequential, rather than tackle the big issues for which they were elected – tax rates, economic development, job creation etc… .

    However at Merling’s suggestion – two senior management positions have been eliminated, at what immediate cost we don’t know. But, at some point the administrative costs of running the County are presumably going to fall because these were two Sunshine list positions.

    So, let’s take a deep breath and see how this plays out. And let’s encourage Council to focus on the big picture – which, lord knows, they seemingly hate to do – and leave our staff to work on the day-to-day matters.

  5. Mark says:

    Well it’s better than the last CAO who worked 4 days a week and got paid the big salary for 5 days work. All approved by council. This while they knew we were in a financial mess.Not a big enough mess I guess to have the top dog at work. But then what is a free day off each week!

  6. m york says:


    I so agree with you. I believe that the citizens deserve transparency as its really hard to fathom how anyone gets these many holidays especially being a new employee for only a few months. How does anyone, I don’t care who you are, work for three weeks and off for one for the whole time you’ve been here???? And if this was part of his contract then Council should be held accountable.

  7. Marie says:

    Perhaps someone on council can comment on our CAO’s allotted vacation time?

    Conversely maybe someone on council could comment on whether or not council is “allowed to” or “advised not to” speak on public forums such as this.

    My personal opinion is that we are better off having a true and free exchange of information.


  8. virginia says:

    Excellent choice of people to be on the commission. They are really part of the community. Well done.

  9. m york says:

    ya i hear ya lol, i would just like to know what council’s take is on this, its shameful

  10. Doris Lane says:

    I guess we always have been the laughing stock
    the other CAO worked??? 4 days and got paid for 5
    I heard this CAO is already on afull pension from another area
    Since Merlin has 2 deputy CAOs I guess he can take off whenever he wants
    I wish they would stop wasting my money–I have to GIVE them another $2000 next month–I won’t have enough left to buy my broomstick

  11. m york says:

    well Doris if thats got you all in a tither wait till you hear this…. Our new CAO has left as of today and will be gone until Aug. 20. This making eight weeks holidays he will of had and he was hired on Nov. 1 Thats pretty darn good considering he’s slashing all the under dogs to try and save. WAY TO GO COUNCIL we are now the laughing stock of other municipalities…..

  12. Doris Lane says:

    A new Director and 2 community co-ordinatore will be hired
    Gee I thought we were cutting back on hiring and reducing the number of people who work? for the County

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