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Council sets CAO’s goals for 2015

At a special council meeting Wednesday, Prince Edward County Council prioritized Chief Administrative Officer Merlin Dewing’s goals and objectives for 2015.

Five priorities focus on the County’s financial outlook and stability, planning, the water and wastewater operations, human resources and heritage.

“Formalizing these goals will ensure efforts made within County administration and operations support council’s objectives, as well as improve the municipality’s overall sustainability, operational effectiveness, and service delivery,” said Mayor Robert Quaiff.

The CAO Goals for 2015:
1. Analyze the County’s short and long term financial outlook and all factors affecting the municipality’s ongoing stability. Recommend strategies for council to best achieve sustainable long term finances and operations.

2. Conduct a review of development, planning, and building related charges, as well as the effectiveness of associated policies. Evaluate development staffing and service levels as compared to other municipalities.
3. Conduct a thorough and transparent internal review of water and wastewater operations in Bloomfield, Wellington and Picton and elsewhere, providing recommendations for change.

4. Develop a consolidated human resources strategy which should include departmental and employee reviews/appraisals, and strategies to enhance employee retention, attraction, and succession planning.

5. Identify a new way to use The County’s heritage to drive economic growth.

“We are pleased to have identified clear objectives for the CAO to accomplish this year with a significant focus on long-term financial sustainability, as well as reviewing our development services, water and wastewater operations, and employee attraction and retention practices. We also want to see a renewed focus on using County heritage as an economic driver,” said Quaiff.

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  1. Gary says:

    Since it appears the crisis with the water & wastewater is to be an internal review as opposed to public I encourage all urban taxpayers to speak to their councilors in advance. The days of urban ratepayers supporting a hub for tourists and a majority of rural residents has come to a head! Make your voices heard.

  2. Debbie says:

    According to Gary, It appears that anyone who will not pay for the urban water/water treatment deficit while already paying for their own well and septic system is close minded and selfish. Gary, you are a one issue person and you have a difficult time in not seeing the forest for your one tree.
    Please read the serious shortfalls that we are experiencing in this county. We would have absolutely no problems with money if the finances has been handled properly since amalgamation. We are constantly getting mayors and CAOs who are mentally financial vacuums. I have yet to see full time above minimum wage jobs being generated by our economic development office but the money spent on this is in the millions over the past several years. We need drastic change now!

  3. R.Richman says:

    Human resources, water and sewer no money, will it ever stop. No when you have things such as person on the pay row being paid to get results, not geting them and still after 2 years still an employee (Ms Lindsay)a vacant building that has sat for 5 years which could have generated tax income of $15000.00 plus (Old Wellington Arena) and the list goes on. We have a new council but with some of the old council and a new leader all with the same old way of thinking. I am still waiting for some one to explain to me why we need a $75000.00 a year person to book ice and halls at the arenas and why the County keeps surplus land instead of selling it to help fill the coffers and raise the tax base.Why a hockey team has the rights to all advertizing at the one arena. Why the county did not put it up for tender to generate money instead of giving it away. Small minds that can not think out side of the box that is why.Why I am on the subject can any one tell us how much the country sold the property at McFarland Home to the developer for. I do not recall every reading about it. Or maybe it was given away.

  4. baysider says:

    Most of the fees Emily is talking about are included in our taxes. Also ,I hope the CAO won’t want his office remodeled again and cost us thousands. He might want a new piano

  5. Emily says:

    Oh Snowman if it was that simple! The broader public do use the services and place significant stress on the infrastructure. Hospital, medical offices, arena, municipal buildings, fire services, churches, rural bulk water etc. The fees come no where close to covering the related costs. I suspect if hundreds came to your place to use your services and didn’t pay adequately for you to maintain such you might have a problem with that.

  6. Snowman says:

    Does every story have to end up with someone who lives in Picton trying to somehow get rural taxpayers to pay their water bill?
    When I purchase goods and services from a urban business, (which I do a lot)I help cover their overhead costs which include water, sewer, hydro ,taxes etc. That’s just the way life is. Do my taxes go toward sidewalks and street lights, at the far end of Washburn Street even though I live in Salmon Point, and might never use those lights or sidewalk? Yes, because it’s public property.Water and sewer,I think is different because when it’s delivered to private homes, the public is not invited to use it. So until the county lowers my taxes substantialy because I’m on a private well and septic and have no sidewalk or street lights in front of my house, I do not wish to share in the cost of water and septic/sewer for a urban home owner.Mayor Quaiff has it right.Look for lower costs in the system first instead of looking to me for a subsidy. Move to a rural area if it’s cheaper to own a well and septic system.

  7. Eric Greer says:

    Let’s put this in perspective:

    In 2013, Dewing made $187K + $7K running Doofusburg with a $60M budget and 300 employees, whereas

    The City Manager of Toronto, with a budget of $12B and 50,000 employees made… wait for it… $360K.

    Until something this systemically dysfunctional is addressed, the County has no hope of a sane fiscal structure.

  8. Gary says:

    No it is not the same Gary. However you present yourself as very close minded and selfish in finding a resolution to a critical County issue.

  9. Debbie says:

    Here we go again with the old argument of urban vs. rural. I keep on seeing the same names with the same us against them. Is this the same Gary that delayed the initial contracts as he pursued his own agenda with an appeal to the OMB with the water/waste water treatment contracts that would have significantly reduced the $30 M deficit that we have today?Your arguments are no more than self serving and extremely biased. Your faux pas has caused a lot of hardship for people in this county.

  10. Wolf Braun says:

    I’m happy that the Mayor and Council have made these objectives transparent. Let’s see how the measurement goes.

  11. Gary says:

    If we were all rural there would be no water & waste water infrastructure to be concerned with. There would be no $30,000,000 waste plant either. You can’t compare this to a well. If we didn’t have this massive infrastructure there would be no town. Then where would rural folks receive services i.e hospital, groceries, banking, supplies etc. Our infrastructure is stressed by the rural need. If you want to pit rural vs urban then be careful. A lot of urban tax payers have no interest in upgrading rural roads they never use. There are not enough urban users to sustain the costs, that is clear. And if you take the broader tax base off the table prior to any discussions then what is the answer. Any urban growth will decline.

  12. Susie says:

    Heated debate, with no outcome! The mayor said he didn’t support it being spread out across to all tax payers! Too many folks putting their own spin on things. Some people will never ever be happy with anything council, past and present do! I am a rural route folk so when my well runs out, will town be filling my well? Yeh right!

  13. Mark says:

    I find it hilarious that we elect 16 Council members and they throw it on one CAO to figure out our financial stability! Ho hum!!! He should be asking for a raise.

  14. Susan says:

    The human resources strategy is nothing more than window dressing. Are we to take from this that in 2015 county employees do not presently have performance reviews? A review of the human resources department would be more in order. That would make for real good discussion!

  15. Gary says:

    News reports today stated that the Mayor said that Council would not entertain water & wastewater infrastructure being spread across the tax base. Whether you support that position or not how can he say that? He does not alone determine what comes in front of the broader Council. There are strong reasons why that approach should have discussion in an open and transparent forum. If the news report is accurate this sounds controlling and dictorial. It also poisons the review prior to it even starting.

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