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Council moving to replace senior staffer despite concerns

Culture doesn't belong in same department as business development, councillor says; 'I don’t agree with this strategy, currently'
2018-06-06 Orillia City Centre
Orillia City Centre

A councillor lost a bid Monday to reject an effort to replace a senior city staffer.

However, Coun. Tim Lauer’s concerns were more about the city’s departmental structure.

Jennifer Ruff, the city’s director of business development and communications, announced her resignation, effective Dec. 1.

At last week’s council committee meeting, a motion was passed that would see the city embark on the process of hiring a director of business development, tourism and culture.

“I don’t agree with this strategy, currently. I think we could all benefit from taking a little bit of time and having a good discussion on structure,” he said. “I personally think that economic development belongs in corporate affairs. It just seems to make sense to me. There are real estate people there. There’s a corporate lawyer there.”

He said he was “also a great believer that parks and recreation and culture should be a separate and independent department.”

“We do have time to talk this through.”

That time has come and gone, said Coun. Mason Ainsworth, who noted a departmental review and restructuring took place not long ago.

“I would highly recommend that members of council, in the future, if they want to do an organizational review, there is an opportunity,” he said.

“Not voting to replace a position because you’re unhappy with that process … I don’t personally believe that’s the way to get it.”

“Thanks, Councillor Ainsworth, for the lecture on process, but this was discussed and I disagreed with it at the time and voted against it,” Lauer responded.

“These are the times when you do discuss whether you agree or disagree or want to reconsider, and I do want to reconsider. So, I’m not sure I agree with your procedural dissertation.”

Council voted to uphold the decision from last week, with only Lauer and councillors Jay Fallis and Pat Hehn voting against.

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Nathan Taylor

About the Author: Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is the desk editor for Village Media's central news desk in Simcoe County.
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