Council gets ski hill update; approves honorarium
BARRY’S BAY – The new Chief Administrative Officer of the Madawaska Valley was officially appointed to his position at the February 6 regular council meeting.
Council welcomed Bryan Brown, who has 11 years previous experience as a CAO and 15 years experience as an economic development officer. Mayor David Shulist said Brown is experienced in researching, grant writing and fact-finding.
“He is confident, he is stern, and yet fair and personable,” Shulist explained, adding that Brown knows the role of staff and council. “That’s very important that staff and council know their role.”
Shulist said Brown worked up in the Dryden area, but chose to come to the area for the quality of life and to be closer to his family in Orangeville. He is an avid volunteer and has coached hockey in the past. He was educated at the University of Waterloo and Ryerson College.
“He is not just going to sit as CAO for this corporation, but he will also be part of the community,” Shulist said.
Brown’s probationary period will last for one year.
“I have been very successful in everything that I have done where I have been,” Brown said during his introductory speech. “Sometimes that doesn’t make everyone happy because when you make decisions, not always 100 per cent of the people are on your side.”
He also spoke about change.
“Chances are a change will happen because when everyone gets up tomorrow, the world is different than it was today,” he said. “For those who don’t want to believe that, it might be a bit of a struggle.”
He compared the Madawaska Valley to when he was in Haliburton 15 years ago.
“Haliburton was not quite the Haliburton it is today. We put a plan in place, we made changes there. I think the people who live in Haliburton now are very happy with what happened there,” he said. “I look forward to Madawaska Valley being the next Haliburton, or the next Bancroft – the next leg of…Cottage Country that is made up by the Muskoka, the Kawarthas, Haliburton and the greater Algonquin area.”
Brown explained that the outside world has identified this place as a place to invest in.
“Just look up and down the main streets here in Barry’s Bay. It’s happened by itself, and with a little bit of urging I think we are going to see more,” he explained.
But he cautioned that the township has to be ready for growth and change.
“We can’t just let it happen by itself or it will be an awful mess,” he explained.
He said the township’s biggest challenge is to make sure that the growth that is going to come is the growth the township wants. Teamwork, he said, will help the township achieve that goal.
“There won’t be any micromanaging here,” he warned. “There won’t be. I can assure you of that. Maybe that might be an issue from time-to-time, but micromanaging pretty much shuts down your staff. We are going to make sure that doesn’t happen, and that councillors are afforded the time they need to be good councillors because their time is better being spent being council, not being staff.”
Afterwards, council passed the bylaw appointing Brian Brown as CAO.
Council also thanked acting CAO Brenda Sabatine for all of her hard work covering for the past few months. She will be returning to her role as treasurer/deputy clerk.
This stroy continues in the Februeary 9 issue of The Valley Gazette.