Wawa Council Rehires Chris Wray As CAO

Published on: Apr 25, 2014

Last night’s Special Council meeting began at 7 p.m. with all members of Council present. Councillor Rody approved the Agenda as amended. The item removed was regarding the Building Inspector’s assisting Hawk Junction agreement. There needed to be a little more work done before that agreement could be approved – so it was removed from the agenda.

Under the By-Laws there was one by-law for first, second and third reading. At that time, Mayor Nowicki brought forward to changes. The first was that in Section 1 of the By-Law it states that the agreement (contract), the original that would be attached as Schedule A, that should be amended to refer to an agreement that would be on file in the Human Resources Department. The second was that in Section 2 that the Mayor and Deputy Clerk would sign the agreement. The Mayor and Acting Mayor could also sign the agreement, however, in the past, it was only the Mayor who signed the agreement.

Councillor Rody questioned the changes, and Mayor Nowicki explained that it wouldn’t change the by-law, only remove the contract from the by-law as an attachment, and refer it as existing in the HR Department. All by-laws are public information, however the actual contract is not public information. A copy would be available for those with the proper authorization. The second amendment was that the Deputy Clerk would execute the by-law but not the actual agreement/contract.

Holly Morrison-Smith made the motion, seconded by Councillor Besner; the motion on the amendment was made and carried.

Mayor Nowicki noted that “after an extensive search process, we have hired Mr. Chris Wray. Many of you will be familiar with Mr. Wray; he was our CAO from 1999 to 2012. He left to become CAO of Muskoka Lakes. We are entertaining the agreement tonight to bring him back to the Municipality with all his experience.” Mayor Nowicki then called for discussion on the by-law.

Councillor Bill Chiasson began the discussion stating, “I have one comment, I just cannot support this by-law because I find its, this time with under 3,000 people it’s too high cost for the taxpayers of Wawa. When we do vote on it, I want a recorded vote. ”

Councillor Ron Rody commented next, “I won’t support this as well. I believe it is just far too expensive for our Municipality As well, as the past almost year and a half have been extremely difficult. I just find it would be very, very hard to go back. I would much prefer umm, a new start. I think that is what our Municipality would need.”

Councillor Holly Morrison-Smith didn’t comment.

Councillor Yvan Besner said, “I will be supporting the by-law this evening. I think it has been a long time since we’ve been without a CAO. I know Mr. Wray had left, I’m not sure how long it’s been now, it’s good to see him come back. Anybody who believes that the grass is greener on the other side, and makes that attempt, and finds out that it is not so, and wishes to come back, so he’s left with a good record and I am ready to endorse his return to our Municipality.

Mayor Linda Nowicki explained, “during the hiring process we went through two intakes of applicants interviewing 10-12 people. Some of them were very promising, but at the last minute, declined. We did not have this applicant until the second group was being interviewed. I can honestly say that at this time, I I believe that this is the person we need to face the challenges that we are. Not only was he the most experienced in my opinion; but he also has the experience with our issues, the background the knowledge, the history; and I feel that he can lead us forward very well. I don’t see this as a step back at all. I look forward to his return, and to working with him.”

With no other comments, the vote was called for.

Councillor Yvan Besner – yes
Councillor Bill Chiasson – no
Councillor Holly Morrison-Smith – yes
Councillor Ron Rody – no
Mayor Linda Nowicki – yes

The motion was carried, and the by-law to hire was passed.

The Executive Committee was formed via Resolution No. RC12255 on November 20, 2012, establishing the Executive Committee to act as a liaison between Council and Senior Management Staff. The Executive Committee has also been involved in the process to hire a CAO. Members at that time were Mayor Linda Nowicki and Councillor Ron Rody.
April 11, 2013 – Councillor Ron Rody withdrew from the Executive Committee
April 11, 2013 – Councillor Holly Morrison-Smith joins Executive Committee
Sept. 6th, 2013 – Councillor Holly Morrison Smith resigns from Executive Committee
Sept. 6th, 2013 – Councillor Yvan Besner joins Executive Committee

Brenda Stockton
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