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A return to stability?

Exeter Times-Advocate Editorial

After a year of upheaval and change at the county level in 2012, here’s hoping 2013 brings stability to Huron County.

After a wild summer in Goderich which saw county chief administrative officer Larry Adams, director of finance and deputy CAO David Carey and director of human resources Darcy Michaud placed on non-disciplinary administrative leave, later to be let go by the county, coupled with the resignation of clerk Barb Wilson, who cited personal reasons, many members of the public wondered what was going on at the county.

Things appear back on track with last Friday’s announcement of the hiring of a new CAO, Brenda Orchard, who hails from Nova Scotia and will join Huron County near the end of January.

She and new Warden George Robertson have their work cut out for them. In addition to getting new staff in place, there is the job of moving forward with the report from consultant George Cuff, which contains sweeping recommendations on the county’s governance. County council has already begun implementing Cuff’s recommendations, having decided in November to extend the warden’s term to two years starting with the 2014 election.

There’s much work still to be done regarding the Cuff report, in addition to the day-to-day county business, and with a new CAO and warden in tow, county council needs to get on with the business of managing the county and leave the upheaval in the past.

But while Huron County has completed its task of replacing its CAO, the Municipality of Lambton Shores is just entering that process with last week’s announcement that the municipality is “discontinuing the employment relationship” it has with CAO John Byrne effective Jan. 25.

Byrne, as previously reported, was placed on non-disciplinary leave Nov. 13, a decision that remains controversial.

Typical with such decisions, there has been no explanation.

It’s been a rough year for senior management on the local scene. We expect 2013 won’t be as tumultuous.

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