Lambton Shores hires Kawartha Lakes administrator

After months of searching, Lambton Shores has hired a new Chief Administrative Officer.

Kevin Williams will leave his current position as director of community services in the City of Kawartha Lakes to take over the position Aug. 1. He is the replacement for long-time CAO John Byrne who was dismissed in January amid controversy that his dismissal was preplanned and discussed in the community before it occurred.

“I think he (Williams) will be a real good fit for our municipality,” says Mayor Bill Weber who was part of the selection committee. “His calmness, his willingness to talk, his experience – he has a wealth of experience and some of that in difficult situations which are similar to what we have here.”

Weber added the municipality he’s coming from is similar to Lambton Shores, a diverse municipality spread over a large geographic area with a strong tourism base.

The consultant who helped the council committee, Nigel Bellchamber, also spoke highly of Williams. “He is an experienced municipal manager and is held in high regard by his peers and …and the people currently working for him…and that’s not all that common,” says Bellchamber.

And he says the municipality did well to find Williams in a difficult market. “This is a comprehensive and competitive agreement,” Bellchamber says. “It’s a seller’s market; if you want the skilled candidates you have to be competitive in the market.”

That agreement means Williams will be paid $155,000 a year with four-weeks vacation according to the employment bylaw passed by council June 21. The last CAO was paid just under $148,000 a year according to Ontario government documents.

The new CAO will also get up to $10,000 for moving expenses and will take his first vacation starting in mid-September to meet a “scheduled commitment.”

The bylaw also stipulates the new CAO will be on probation until January 2014. The bylaw also spells out any severance to be paid if the new CAO doesn’t work out; 15 months’ salary and benefits after completing his probation and with a maximum payout of 18 months.

– Heather Wright