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Essex CAO to Retire

Posted on Friday January 25, 2019

After 17 years of service to Council and citizens, Chief Administrative Officer Donna Hunter has officially announced her retirement from the Town of Essex.

“I will truly miss the challenges, the relationships, and most of all the Council members and staff who care deeply about making our community a better place to live and invest in,” Hunter said. “My role as CAO has not only allowed me to realize my personal ambition to serve in the most senior position within this municipality, but has also allowed me to serve Council, our employees, and our residents in a manner that I found profoundly rewarding.”

“It’s an understatement to say that Donna has been a dedicated public servant who helped move our community forward,” said Mayor Larry Snively. “We appreciate her years of hard work and service to our municipality. Throughout her years, she has gone above and beyond to get the job done and we are lucky to have had her lead the organization as CAO. Time and time again, she demonstrated that she truly cares for the Town of Essex and its people. ”

Hunter began her career with the Town in 2002 as Treasurer. She went on to serve as Director, Finance and Administration, and Director, Corporate Services, before assuming the role of CAO in 2017.

She pointed to a number of significant accomplishments she has been a part of, including:

  • Improving the financial records and financial health of the Town, including building reserves.
  • Playing a part in the process to upgrade sewage treatment facilities in Harrow and Essex Centres, which will allow for future development.
  • Leading the transition to the Ontario Provincial Policing model.
  • Establishing Corporate Policies and Procedures, Codes of Conduct for Council and Employees, as well as introducing a new comprehensive Animal Control By-law.
  • Making the financial case for a new twin pad arena in Essex Centre.
  • Transitioning the Town to be the sole shareholder of ELK Energy Inc.
  • Overseeing two organizational reviews, a number of retirements, as well as improving staff relations with regular internal events.

Hunter’s final day as CAO will be March 15, 2019. Council will appoint a replacement CAO at a future meeting.