Perth South Council reacts to CAO resignation

By Dan Rankin
At their Nov. 17 evening meeting in St. Pauls, Perth South’s mayor and staff spoke publicly for the first time about former CAO Tim Ivanyshyn’s resignation earlier this month.
Perth South Mayor Robert Wilhelm described how he received an email from Ivanyshyn on the morning of Nov. 5 while Wilhelm and Deputy Mayor Bill Aitcheson were at a County Council meeting.
“He attached a letter of resignation to that email,” Wilhelm said. “I talked to deputy mayor Aitcheson when we took a break, and we agreed that we would come out and talk to staff and Tim.”
By the time they sat down with Tim that day, “Tim had basically cleaned out his office,” the Mayor said. After a “nice chat with Tim,” they “agreed that instead of finishing out the day he might as well leave at that time, so he said his goodbyes to staff and left.”
Ivanyshyn had been a staff member with Perth South since November 2008 when he became treasurer/deputy clerk. Just over a year later, in December 2009, he was appointed CAO/Clerk, a position he held until current Clerk Lizet Scott was hired on, relieving him of those duties.
A meeting with senior Perth South staff members followed to let them know the news. “Staff was very supportive and eager to help in any way they could,” Wilhelm said. Treasurer Rebecca Clothier was asked “to take the point lead for the municipality in this office,” he said.
Wilhelm told the Independent that he didn’t think a new CAO would be appointed before the New Year.
“I would think it’s going to take some time for the dust to settle, and for them to put their heads together and see what they feel this municipality should have, and then bring it back to council,” he said. “I would say it’s going to take probably two or three months.”
“We’re going to take our time and do it right,” said Aitcheson, who said he was not concerned about staff taking care of an additional workload. “Any one of our four senior staff would be capable of leading the way for us. We’re not going to burn somebody out.”
However, Councillor Stuart Arkett did express concern that, with 2016 budget deliberations coming up, “the workload in the next three months or so is going to be pretty heavy falling primarily on Rebecca’s shoulders”. “I’d hate to load her up too much with that,” he said.
Clothier and Scott have already gone through some of Ivanyshyn’s files and met with Perth East’s fire chief and CAO regarding their shared fire services agreement. “That will be put off for a year, basically,” Scott said.
Wilhelm also indicated that an “adjustment in compensation for staff” would be forthcoming.