Norfolk hunting for new interim CAO

May retain services of executive search firm

Norfolk County sign Simcoe Reformer / File photo

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Norfolk County is in the market for another interim CAO now that current interim CAO Harry Schlange is preparing to move on.

Council agreed Wednesday that critical work is looming that requires the oversight of a CAO.

“It would be helpful to have a CAO on hand for our entire budget process, which begins in the fall,” said Simcoe Coun. Ian Rabbitts.

In recent weeks, Mayor Kristal Chopp has consulted with mayors who say there aren’t a lot of chief administrative officers in the market looking for a placement.

She laid out a process where Norfolk will advertise in Municipal World – a trade publication serving the municipal sector in Ontario – as well as with provincial and national trade associations representing municipal managers.

If this produces few leads, Chopp suggested Norfolk hire executive recruiters to provide a list of candidates who may be interested in the county’s top managerial position. If it comes to that, the head-hunters would be retained in the final quarter of 2019.

Chopp also suggested that all of council serve on the county’s CAO recruitment committee.

After Chopp laid out this process, council went behind closed doors Wednesday to discuss potential candidates for the interim CAO position. Chopp said Norfolk will have nothing further to report until the county has a candidate under contract.

Schlange is the former CAO of Niagara Region and Brampton. He and Brampton parted company in December following the October municipal election. Schlange offered his services to Norfolk on an interim basis earlier this year following the resignation of former Norfolk CAO David Cribbs in January.

Schlange has since accepted the full-time CAO position in the Town of Grimsby. He assumes his new duties after Labour Day. Cribbs also recently found work in Niagara Region as the new CAO in the Town of Pelham.

Norfolk council recently broke for summer recess and was not scheduled to return until Aug. 22. However, when pressing issues arise while council is on hiatus, the mayor has the authority to call special meetings such as Wednesday’s to deal with them.