The Town of Huntsville has hired a headhunter to help the municipality recruit for the position of director of operations and protective services following an announcement that Steve Hernen would be retiring in January 2022.
Council approved a recruitment expenditure of up to $19,500 plus GST at its August council meeting.
Hernen told Doppler he wanted to give the municipality ample notice. “I wanted to give them the opportunity to find the right person they wanted, and so we’ve agreed on a date. We’ll sort of get through the budget process by then. We’ll have the work plans all set for next year, and then the new director can come in and sort of see what’s going on, follow next year’s work plans, and then develop their own work plans.”
Once he retires from his position at the municipality, Hernen said he plans on taking a family trip this winter, continue looking after his rentals in town, and possibly build some more housing as well.
As for rumours that he plans on running for the position of mayor in the upcoming October 2022 municipal elections, Hernen would neither confirm nor deny those rumours.“You can’t be in politics if you’re a municipal employee,” he said.
Asked why he’s retiring at the end of January, Hernen said he was eligible to retire over a year ago but wanted to get some projects finalized before he left, namely the sidewalk master plan, the waterfront design concepts, and planning development standards to help future developers both large and small.
“I would’ve liked to have seen Main Street completed… we’ll have it well underway,” he noted. He said working for the municipality has been fabulous, and it’s a great place to work.
The Town’s human resources manager, Lisa Smith, had this to say in an email circulation:
“It is both with sadness and excitement that we announce the retirement of Stephen (Steve) Hernen, Director of Operations and Protective Services. His last working day will be January 31, 2022.
“Steve has been an integral part of our municipal family for the last 36 years. Steve began his career with the Town of Huntsville as a Volunteer Firefighter in 1985 and started full time on October 1, 1990, as our Deputy Fire Chief and then our Fire Chief on December 31, 1996. In addition, Steve was also elected as the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) President from November 2015 to May 2018 and in March of 2017 Steve became the Director of Operations and Protective Services/Fire Chief.
“His contributions will always be valued and remembered, and his hard work, commitment and dedication are worthy of admiration. He will be greatly missed and filling his shoes will be a very difficult task.
“On behalf of the Town of Huntsville we would like to wish Steve all the best in his future endeavours.”
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