Loyalist Township makes Silver its permanent CAO

Loyalist Township Mayor Ric Bresee, left, congratulates chief administrative officer Steven Silver on his permanent appointment to the position he held on an interim basis since July 2018. (Adam Bramburger/Staff)

Councillors unanimously affirm retention of interim administrator  after reviewing deep candidate pool

Adam Bramburger

Beaver Staff

After reviewing more than 50 candidates for its chief administrative officer posting, Loyalist Township council decided they liked the person currently sitting in that chair the most.

On Monday, council unanimously passed a bylaw that effectively removed Steven Silver’s interim tag, leaving him the responsibility to manage 105 full-time and 80 part-time staff and a budget of over $21 million.

Mayor Ric Bresee said he was pleased to see Silver seek the job.

“He’s been here for the last (several) months and he’s done an excellent job for us.  He came in through a difficult period,” he said. “We’re looking at some exciting times coming up in the next few years, so we’re glad we’ve got someone with some stability, who knows the environment and knows the municipal environment very, very well — he’s got a long history with it. We’re very satisfied and pleased that he decided to apply.”

Bresee, who has worked with all four chief administrative officers since amalgamation — Diane Pearce, Alida Moffat, Robert Maddocks, and Silver — likes the approach the latter offers.

“I think one of the most impressive things about Mr. Silver is he’s able to use his experience to recognize a wide variety of options to put before council and, at the same time, is almost completely unflappable. The man is very stable, very comfortable to work with, he works well with his staff and is showing himself to be the leader we knew he could be.”

Silver has previous experience as chief administrative officer for Frontenac, Lanark and Leeds and Grenville counties, Gananoque and Bancroft. In 2011, he was a winner of the Associaton of Muncipal Clerks and Treasuers of Ontario’s Prestige Award for his contributions to the organization and the improvement of municipal management and leadership. The Kingston resident says he still loves the work.

“I enjoy challenged and I enjoyed making a contribution to each one of those communities in whatever way I could to keep them marching forward,” he said. 

His experience with Loyalist Township, dating back to July 2018, allowed him to welcome the possibility of making a longer term commitment.

“I discovered there was a great team here and lots of opportunity. We’re working on several important projects and I want to continue that work. We haven’t quite finished some of those.”

Silver is looking forward to working with council as it sets the agenda for this four-year term. He said  councillors and staff will soon be working on their strategic planning and a review of the official plan. A complete review of staff and services is also scheduled.  Economic development in the face of continued growth is also an important consideration, Silver said, as is the potential relocation of municipal administration into a hub facility at the W.J. Henderson Recreation Centre.

In addition to internal roles, Silver also has to contend with the likelihood of further change from the provincial and federal levels of government impacting on operations.

“It’s always changing. I said to somebody today it’s amazing how things have changed just since July here. They’re external forces, it’s not all by our own doing.”

Still, he’s pleased to have made an impression.

“I do have my hands full. It’s a big job, but I do find it satisfying and I do enjoy working with his group. Council has been very supportive and appreciative,” he said. “I’m very fortunate to be offered this opportunity to serve the people of the township.”

Bresee said there were several well qualified applicants in the pool for chief administrative officer and that made for some long hours for a selection committee formed in January, but he’s confident it made the right hire.

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