The City of Cornwall has had a bumpy ride when it comes to their last two CAOs. After the Paul Fitzpatrick scandals, Norm Levac came into power. His legacy will be the secret Harbor negotiations the he quarterbacked.
We asked incoming CAO Maureen Adams (her hiring being one of the least kept secrets) for an interview and instead did ten email questions posted below.
1) Congratulations on your new position Ms Adams. This appointment wasn’t a surprise for many in the community. Did you do any special preparation over the last few years for this day?
As part of the City’s senior team, I was engaged in many significant projects, strategic planning, recruitment for key positions and also worked closely with the current CAO.
2) What will you do differently than Mr. Levac or Mr. Fitzpatrick before him as CAO?
There will be a significant number of employees that will be eligible for retirement over the next few years (over 30%). Succession planning is something that we have started but will continue to be a priority. This is a great opportunity for further development of our existing employee base as well as opportunities will be there for future recruits.
3) What do you think are the biggest challenges you’ll face during your first few months in your new position?
Working with Council and departments to get up to speed as quickly as possible on key matters.
4) Every position has its challenges and benefits. What do you think are the biggest challenges you’ll be facing as you step into the big office at City Hall?
Within the City there is some momentum building with the Strategic Plan and various projects. I want to make sure that this continues.
5) Where do you see Cornwall by the end of this next term? Where do you see Cornwall over the next five years?
Good question. Development as well as investment in Cornwall continues. Our community has seen many new restaurants open, new retail outlets as well as new housing developments. I think this is a positive trend and it will continue hopefully at a steady pace.
6) Are there any special projects or goals you have as the new CAO of Cornwall?
I would like to build on community engagement for important community matters to help Council with key decisions.
7) Will it be very different for you as CAO vs CFO? IE Working more with people than with numbers?
It will be very different however, one of the benefits within finance is the opportunity to work with all departments throughout the year and get to understand their operations. I am looking forward to taking a step back from finance.
8) What would you like to say to our local CFN viewers as you take power?
I am really looking forward to the opportunity to work closely with Council and Administration to continue to implement the City’s Strategic Plan and promote the City of Cornwall.
9) What would you like to say to those considering moving to Cornwall to live, retire, or create businesses?
The “Quality of Life” in Cornwall is something we should always promote. This is a great community for healthy, active lifestyles along the St. Lawrence River. We have a new hospital, community college, and attractive & affordable housing.
10) As CAO will you support more Art in Public places?