The Amherst town council approved the realignment of several key areas within the organization as well as several amendments to its Salary Administration Policy during a special council session held on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021.
The realignment was needed in order to fill some of the duties left vacant following the appointment of Jason MacDonald as the town’s chief administrative officer earlier this year.
“The realignment is based on the current skill sets of the existing employees, optimization of the existing human resources and building for long-term success and succession,” Mayor David Kogon said, adding the realignment will also result in about $35,000 in annual savings to the town.
The amendments to the Salary Administration Policy were required to reflect the realignment of town staff. They resulted in the creation of five new director positions, a solid waste education and co-ordination officer position and a land-use planner position. It also resulted in moving the deputy clerk position to a supervisory role from an administrative/customer service 4 role.
The five new director positions are: director of fire services, director of operations, director of planning and strategic initiatives, director of solid waste and bylaw enforcement and director of corporate communications and community well-being, which also includes the responsibilities of the municipal clerk.
Appointed by council to fill the new director positions were: Greg Jones, director of fire services, Aaron Bourgeois, director of operations, Andrew Fisher, director of planning and strategic initiatives, and Kim Jones, director of corporate communications and community well-being.
Kogon said the town was pleased that it was able to fill four of the director positions from the ranks of existing town employees.
“All of the new directors are well qualified and have ample experience to carry out their new roles and responsibilities,” the mayor said.
Competitions will be held to fill the director of solid waste and bylaw enforcement and land-use planner positions.
The creation of the solid waste education and co-ordinator officer position is the direct result of the sale of the Central Landfill in Little Forks to GFL Environmental Inc., while creating the land-use planner position will allow the new director of planning and strategic initiatives more time to focus on the strategic priorities of council. It also has the potential to generate some income through the possible sale of service to other units.
Moving the deputy-clerk to a supervisory level is the result of this position taking on more responsibility related to meetings, council agendas and more.
The amendments will also result in the elimination of the deputy-CAO position, the municipal clerk position and the town engineer position.
The first two became redundant following the appointment of MacDonald as the CAO and the realignment of the staff. The elimination of the town engineer position will go into effect in November following the retirement of the person currently carrying out the role.
Also eliminated are the positions of fire chief, operations manager and manager of land use planning and strategic initiatives as the incumbents have been appointed to the newly created director positions.