At the Amaranth township council meeting held on November 4th, Nicole Martin was appointed as the new Chief Administrative Officer and Clerk effective November 15. Ms. Martin was named as the successful candidate after a lengthy recruitment and interview process.
This may be of some welcome news to many residents in Amaranth, providing some form of stability to the township after the high staff turnover and conflicts on council. Nicole Martin started as Amaranth’s Deputy Clerk in February, on secondment from another municipality. Martin is familiar with the dynamics of the township’s council, having witnessed much of the recent turmoil, and has been Acting CAO for several months.
Earlier this year, Amaranth’s previous CAO was fired by the council in a 3-2 vote approximately seven weeks after being hired, for unrevealed reasons. An investigation into workplace harassment was ordered by the Ministry of Labour shortly thereafter resulting in a legal opinion being produced that recommended the mayor’s delegated powers be revoked and to restrict Currie from frequenting the township office. A motion to move on this recommendation was defeated in a split 2-2 vote, Mayor Currie abstained.
A councillor vacated his seat, after leaving an active council meeting, alerting the press of his resignation before providing formal notice almost a month later. The reason provided for this abdication of leadership during a pandemic was due to the councillor not wanting to go to work “with a knot in his stomach” which was a result of a “sustained campaign of harassment against the mayor”. Amaranth Mayor Bob Currie has said that he has felt bullied on multiple occasions. Currie threatened to resign after the other councillor had left the meeting, where he called councillors ‘scumbags’ and ‘trash’ before exiting.
Ms. Martin has provided several recommendations on how to fill the vacant seat, but none of them were acted upon by council. Amaranth’s new CAO/Clerk notified councilmembers that they risk the dissolution of council if a quorum is not able to be reached for a period of 60 days or more. Councillors have expressed that they are comfortable with the current situation.
The council for the Township of Amaranth expressed their appreciation for Ms. Martin’s special efforts and contributions over the past few months as Acting CAO/Clerk.
“I appreciate the opportunity I have been given and look forward to serving the community of Amaranth and its residents for many years to come,” said Nicole Martin.
References – Township of Amaranth appoints new CAO
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