Posted by Heather Desveaux
Jan 10, 2018
Update Wed 4:00 pm: A press release issued by the Municipality’s Warden Abe Zebian Wednesday afternoon stated that Finance Director Martin Laycock will assume the role of CAO in the interim. The release is located under NEWS at http://www.westhants.ca
In a follow-up interview with the Warden, Zebian said there was no one issue that prompted last night’s discussion that came to a head at the meeting last night. “It had been on a lot of the councillors’ minds,” he told Avondale Media.
West Hants council voted 6-4 last night, January 9, to let CAO Cathie Osborne go after almost four years on the job.
“[Osborne] got the municipality through some challenging times but she was also brought on at a time of turmoil,” said Zebian, referring to circumstances of the previous CAO being let go due to pending criminal charges.
“Now we need a different kind of leadership to get us through to the next phase,” he said. Zebian added Osborne took the news in a dignified manner and that council has great respect for her work. “We couldn’t have asked for more,” he said.
Zebian added he spoke to Windsor Mayor Anna Allen this morning about an unrelated issue and advised her the issue was isolated to West Hants and did not pertain to anything Osborne had been working on with the Town.
Original post continued….
The split in the council’s vote indicates to me this wasn’t an easy decision. A setback for sure, but to get ahead you need to switch gears sometimes. I trust this move is in the best interest of the people and progress for the region.
Wishing Cathie the best comes sincerely, not just as a polite thing to say at a time of transition. I watched her roll up her sleeves as she steered the municipality through some tough and unique times: Hantsport dissolution, fire services, UARB and a hotly-contested election to name only a few issues I’ve covered over the past few years. Almost every time I contacted her for info or comment she was on her way to yet another meeting but always did her best to fit me in to help me reconcile fact and opinion around these often messy, convoluted issues that take up a lot of time and drain a lot of energy.
This will not be an easy role for her successor either. I suspect council has a candidate in mind for this to have taken place and that these details are forthcoming. — HPD