E4m recruited to replace Mary Lynn Duguay, the former administrator sacked on March 16 after only 5 months of work

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Council is leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to fill the top municipal office in Prince Township.

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As reported earlier by the Sault Star, Mayor Ken Lamming and council chose E4m (Expertise for Municipalities) to find a candidate to replace Mary Lynn Duguay, the former administrator, who was fired March 16 after just five months. of work.

Lamming said in a news release Thursday that the council was “delighted…to find the right person for this role who is both experienced and committed to Prince Township.”

“We take significant steps to ensure that we receive the most professional advice and guidance from E4m,” the adviser said. Eugene Caputo added.

“Their leadership in the search for this individual…will keep the process fully accountable and transparent to the council and the residents of this community,” Caputo said.

E4m, established in 2017, is a non-profit association of experts in municipal governance, whose services include writing policies, training councilors and municipal staff in their roles, and developing best practices for the delivery of services.

E4m’s recruitment processes include advertising in municipal industry publications, creating a roster of interested candidates, and using an expression of interest process to assess candidate engagement.

The search is expected to continue through April, with interviews with applicants taking place in early May.

Duguay was sworn in as Prince’s CAO-Clerk-Treasurer last November, replacing Peggy Greco, who stepped down after 10 years in the role.

Greco’s resignation letter lists the reasons for his departure as a heavy workload, below-average salaries, and the board’s decision—later overturned—not to renew his contract with the Sault Ste. Marie Social Services Board for delivering the EarlyON program at the Prince Township Parent/Child Resource Centre, a move that could have cost 10 employees their jobs.

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Duguay, who has a background in accounting, said in an interview soon after she was hired that she hoped to focus on the health of the township’s finances and on “cohesion” among council members.

“Nobody wins when a board is divided. We have to be on the same page, work towards the same goal and respect each other personally,” Duguay said at the time.

But after she was fired, she said she believed a “controversial” budget meeting on February 17 marked the beginning of the end of her time at Prince.

During the meeting, Duguay presented a 2021 report from Chris Wray, of Probity Municipal Consulting, which indicated that female staff in the Prince Township office received below-average salaries when ranked among their counterparts in 13 small towns in Algoma.

Duguay’s February 17 budget estimates revealed that it would cost about $60,000 to raise clerical staff salaries to meet the district average.

Additionally, Duguay told the council that the township owed benefits to the 10 resource center employees, but that the wage and benefits issues could be resolved with a 0.009% tax rate increase.

The Board voted 3-2 against including additional salaries and benefits costs in the budget, proposing instead to give staff a 3.0% salary increase, retroactive to January 1, and discuss further increases after a pay equity study is completed. .

Duguay later said, however, that the board had not signed a resolution authorizing a new pay equity study, which she said was long overdue. She says she then filed a report with the Pay Equity Commission.

The Board’s press release indicated that the Board allocated funds to address pay equity once a new full-time director was hired.

Meanwhile, Peggy Greco, the former CAO-Clerk-Treasurer of the township serves as interim administrator, under contract with E4m.

Greco’s new role does not include serving as clerk at council meetings. She confirmed earlier this month that E4m will appoint another person to serve as clerk pro tempore.