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Letter to the Editor: privacy and respect for municipal employees

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By Nick Seebruch
Letter to the Editor: privacy and respect for municipal employees
Cornwall CAO Maureen Adams addresses attendees to the Ontario East Municipal Conference during the opening ceremony (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

As CAO for the City of Cornwall I have reflected on activities recently that have occurred at the City and I would like to share some comments with the community.  The first item is respect and privacy for our municipal employees and the second item is recognition of the commitment and efforts of our employees that become even more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This past week one of my senior managers and myself have been subject to public criticism on communication regarding his career move to another municipality.  Our employees are often subject to publicly identifiable comments and many are unfortunately not warranted and are factually incorrect.  Our City employees should have their privacy respected in their personal lives including pursuing opportunities for employment in other municipalities.  Our employees seek other career advancing moves based on their proven experience and capabilities.  I will not compromise privacy of our employees in an effort to be the first out of the gate with a communication.  Instead, I would like to “tip my hat” to those employees and thank them for their commitment and contributions to the City of Cornwall during their tenure.  I take full responsibility for the timing of a communication that came from my office about 12 hours after a media release was issued from another municipality hiring one of our employees this past week.

I would also like to take this opportunity to recognize many City employees that either work on the front line or provide essential services to our residents and businesses that have been truly committed during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Glen Stor Dun Lodge has been stellar with safety protocols keeping our residents safe and COVID-19 free. The Paramedic Service has been a critical force to calls and responding quickly to COVID-19 testing in Long Term Care facilities in our region in partnership with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.  The City’s Transit Service continues to provide safe needed transportation for essential uses.  We have redeployed employees to various sites throughout the pandemic and they have been truly committed to helping where needed.  The Wastewater Treatment Plant has a mechanical problem that arose on the long weekend.  Our employees are working around the clock to repair and resolve the matter.  These are just a few recent examples of how City employees provide essential services to the community; and the list does go on so stay tuned!

I am extremely proud to be the CAO for this municipality, but the truth is the employees of this Corporation help make this City what it is today.  Please be respectful or better yet give them a “tip of your hat”.

Respectfully submitted and stay safe,

Maureen Adams

Chief Administrative Officer, City of Cornwall

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