“We’re losing a lot of valuable experience,” said Councillor Robert Lefebvre during a January 25 phone interview. “Finding suitable (replacement) people today is very difficult.”
Councillor Lefebvre noted that municipal administration work is more complicated now than it used to be several decades ago. Qualified candidates need to be more knowledgeable now about all the provincial regulations that apply to municipal government and to the different municipal departments.
“It’s no longer a case where you could take a former bank director and make him a (town) treasurer,” said Lefebvre.
“Yes, I am concerned,” said Councillor Raymond Campbell. “We’re losing some good people who have a lot of experience with Hawkesbury. They know the town.”
Councillor Campbell indicated that council and administration need to devise incentives to help encourage experienced staff to stay on with the municipality.
“Of course, it’s a concern,” said Councillor Lawrence Bogue, “but we are working on it, and no municipal work has b een compromised or cut.”
“It has, up to a certain point,” said Councillor André Chamaillard, regarding whether he is concerned about the situation. He expressed confidence that Human Resources Director Dominique Dussault will find suitable candidates to fill all the vacancies.
“And if she needs help, she will ask for it,” Chamaillard said.
Councillor Antonios Tsourounakis observed the vacancies issue should not be a problem “as long as they are filled within a reasonable time.”
His concern is that the municipality follow “a proper vetting process” to make sure suitable candidates are hired.
“I don’t want us to rush to fill the post,” he said.
Councillor Yves Paquette was not available for comment by press time.
Public reactions via Facebook to an earlier article on the issue ranged from concern about the number of vacancies, questions about the work environment for municipal employees, and support for staff for their efforts at work.
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