“We are leaving the policy as it is for now,” said Mayor Paula Assaly during a July 17 phone interview.
The municipal hiring policy was discussed during Hawkesbury council’s July 9 special teleconference session. Mayor Assaly had asked council members via email about whether the mayor could sit in when a designated selection committee sat to hold applicant interviews. Councillor Robert Lefebvre asked Human Resources Director Dominique Dussault what the municipal hiring policy is.
Dussault told council that the hiring policy process depends on whether the head of a department’s position is involved or a middle management or other position. For a department head, the selection review committee includes the chief administrative officer (CA0), designated council members, and a Human Resources (HR) official. For a middle management or other position, the review committee includes the CAO, the department director, and an HR official.
If the mayor wanted to sit in on the selection review process, Dussault said, council would need to approve a change in the hiring process policy.
Mayor Assaly asked what happens if the CAO and/or a department head is not available for any reason to sit on a selection review committee. She indicated that a policy is needed to deal with that kind of situation.
During a later phone interview, the mayor noted that she already sits as an ad hoc member on all of the council’s advisory committees. If either the CAO or the department head is unavailable, she noted, then the mayor should be able to sit as an ad hoc member of the selection review committee when it concerns hiring someone for a senior municipal position.
Council continued discussion of the hiring policy during the closed session of its July 9 meeting without coming to any decision. Mayor Assaly confirmed later that the policy will remain as is.
The town has at least four vacancies on its municipal employees right now. Three layoffs were confirmed during the June 16 committee of the whole council session though no names were mentioned during the public portion of the session.
The names of two of the people laid off were later confirmed. One is Kim Maurice, aquatics supervisor at the Robert Hartley Sports Complex, while another is Martin Desrosiers, a member of the municipal infrastructure department. The name of the third person has not been made public.
The directive dealing with those layoffs has become a point of controversy as it involved public discussion and approval of layoff notices before the people affected even received written notice. The municipality is getting a legal opinion on its action.
Two weeks after the June 16 committee of the whole session, Christine Groulx tendered her resignation as town clerk. Dominique Dussault, acting chief administrator for the town, confirmed the resignation during a phone interview. No reason has been given for Groulx’s resignation.
Sonia Girard was confirmed during the July 9 committee of the whole session as acting clerk for the town. Dussault was also confirmed as acting-CAO while Daniel Gatien, the current CAO, is on medical leave until mid-August.