Council bids farewell to Gwen Dombroski and holds a recorded vote regarding a tender

Katrina Boguski

Barry’s Bay — After amending the order of the agenda of the August 15 council meeting to accommodate councillor Olsheskie’s schedule, council moved on to hear the mayor’s address. During his comments, Willmer expressed gratitude to councillor Maika for her work in organizing another successful CO Blitz. Willmer said, “I would…like to congratulate councillor Maika and her team of volunteers for organizing another very successful CO Blitz on August 6th. Once again, the event was very well organized and offered something for all ages and interests. It was held on a perfect day and it was very well attended. So again, Shelley, congratulations to you and your team.” Council then gave Maika round of applause for her contributions to the event’s success.

Willmer then went on to say, “Changing subjects to something I personally find a little sad, is that we have to say goodbye to our deputy clerk Gwen Dombroski who is leaving to accept a position with the County of Renfrew.” Willmer added, “While this is a big loss for our township, it is a gain for the county and for Gwen who continues to move up in her career.”

Highlighting some of the capacities in which Dombroski has served the township, Willmer said, “Gwen started with the Township of Madawaska Valley in 2009 as an administrative assistant and then became executive assistant/communications coordinator. Next, following a transition period, into an acting clerk position, [she] was then promoted to deputy clerk.”

Willmer explained that Dombroski’s lengthy time working for the township has seen her work with five different councils and she has assisted with four municipal elections. Speaking to Dombroski’s impressive record of attendance, Willmer commented, “During her time with the township, Gwen has only missed one council meeting and that was on the day after she broke her leg.” When council laughed happily at this level of commitment to her job, Sue Klatt added, “But she came in before the meeting.”

Dombroski was also acknowledged for work organizing the annual community Christmas party for over ten years, and for her work filling in vacancies in the recreation department. Willmer added, “She also has helped with the Christmas parade floats, staff barbeques, and many, many other activities.

The outgoing deputy clerk was also acknowledged for her willingness to improve her level of education and training. Willmer said, “During her employment with the township, she has consistently taken courses.” Willmer commented that the list of courses is too lengthy to mention, “…however some of the highlights include, receiving a diploma in municipal administration with honours in 2022; a municipal finance and accounting program, [in] 2021; a municipal law program in 2020; a primer on…land use planning in 2018 [and] an executive diploma in municipal management in 2016.”

Willmer then said, “We are losing a very valuable employee in Gwen. I wish her well at the county where I know she will be a huge asset. Again Gwen, I will miss you, and I’m sure council and all the staff here will too.”

Klatt also spoke about Dombroski’s value to the township and her level of commitment to education and career development. Klatt said, “…Gwen has had the support of many councils and staff to upgrade her skillset and has taken every opportunity to thrive and grow her knowledge.” Klatt then presented Dombroski with a bouquet of flowers.