Georgian Bluffs has recruited a new chief administrative officer.
The municipality announced on Thursday that John Norton will become CAO in mid-summer. Norton, a licensed lawyer, has been a senior administrator with Chatham-Kent since 2011.
“In the peer review committee we are all of the same feeling that he was the best candidate for us to offer the job too,” Mayor Dwight Burley said Friday. “We are all excited about him coming and we look forward to moving Georgian Bluffs forward.”
The municipalityhired Phelps Executive Search Solutions in early March to lead the CAO search.
The municipality had been without a permanent CAO since Rick Winters went on a paid leave of absence in late November. The municipality announced Feb. 6 that Winters was no longer employed with the township. Further details were not provided.
Anne Marie Shaw, who is Grey County’s director of housing, served as the municipality’s interim CAO since she was appointed to the position on Feb. 19. Georgian Bluffs clerk Wendi Hunter had been performing the CAO’s duties until that point.
Burley said they are happy to fill the position.
“Actually the process was a lot shorter than we expected,” said Burley. “The Phelps group consulting firm that looked after it for us did an excellent job and brought us some very good candidates.”
Burley said Norton is a well-respected and well-educated individual who brings a wide variety of skills to the job, including strong organizational and team development expertise. Burley said they look forward to welcoming him to the municipality when he starts with Georgian Bluffs on Aug. 1.
Burley said the recruitment process was done virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so it will be nice to meet Norton face-to-face.
In Chatham-Kent, Norton held the positions of chief legal officer and general manager of community development. He has extensive experience as both a legal professional and municipal administrator.
According to a news release from Georgian Bluffs, Norton is passionate about supporting local businesses, empowering staff to provide excellent customer service, transparency in local government and financial accountability.
“I spent a summer in the Georgian Bluffs area back in 1994. I have not forgotten the beautiful views, the incredible hiking, and the warmth and friendliness of people,” Norton said in the release. “I look forward to calling Georgian Bluffs my home. I am committed to working closely with council and staff and serving the people of Georgian Bluffs.”