CFN Asks New Cornwall Ontario CAO Maureen Adams 10 Questions APRIL 29, 2016

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?




  1. Personally I would like to know how Ms. Adams views the looming December 31, 2019 dilemma. That date marks the end of Cornwall’s exemption under the Liberal Green Energy Act which will require that this community purchases its electrical power from the Hydro One. The impact to this largely welfare and elderly demographic is immense. No one seems willing to tackle this pending reality. Is Maureen?

  2. Author

    David I like to give someone in Maureen’s position a little breathing room on day one 🙂 She’ll still have to deal with the CFN boycott by City Hall and the Brock Frost Harassment complaint I’ve now lodged three times with no reply.

    I’m an optimist and know that she’s a very smart and intelligent person. I’m hoping that this gets resolved without having to file a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal as it’s been the reason why I don’t attend council meetings in my professional journalist capacity and have only attended on behalf of TAG for over a year now.

  3. When Maureen Adams steps in as CAO she will be wishing to go back to play with numbers instead. Ms. Adams will have quite a time to change “Frontier Town” into the 21st Century – a badly needed miracle that will never happen. Cornwall has a great deal less than 50K population and it keeps on eroding between the dying and those that have given up on the dead town. That will be some job.

  4. Mr. Oldham when the people of Cornwall get the new contract on their electric bill in 2019 you may see a grand flood at the town hall wondering how they are going to pay for humoungous utility bills. People haven’t seen anything yet and when they do it will become a real eye opener. Industries and businesses are leaving because of the very high rates of electricity.

  5. Jules…The Ontario Liberals gave up “green energy” from Niagara Falls or a partnership with Quebec Hydro in favour of spending tens of billions of borrowed dollars on a fraudulent Green Energy Program. No one talks about the huge carbon footprint that the manufacture of windmills and solar creates or the complete inefficiency of the “green” technology in our area of the world (northern latitude).

  6. Admin…anyone that steps into the kitchen has to be able to handle the heat. Leadership is being able to address the concerns, develop concepts and implement necessary resolve. When have you witnessed this to happen in Cornwall? How about anywhere in Canada in recent times? We are a nation of fence sitters waiting for……..well just waiting.

  7. Mr. Oldham you are absolutely right about Green Energy it is a waste of money and time. This would work better in much milder climates but not in this area of the world. People will get hammered with the high cost of energy in a few years and my landlord is like a hawk both in his home as well as here at the building he is so tight with money.

  8. Ms. Adams is very intelligent and I give her that but she also has to have vision that many do not have and being an accountant she can pretty well estimate how much it would cost to do such a project. Most people do not have vision and everything gets thrown together into one big mess. This new job will be a challenge for Ms. Adams to deal with and I hope that she has vision.

  9. The thing about “Green Energy” is the “green” they are referring to is the “green” the provincial government and its agencies, quasi-agencies (Hydro One, etc.) are pulling in from Joe Average.

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