CAO shortlist to come before council

As the process of hiring a new CAO for the Town of Fort Frances continues, council likely will be presented with a shortlist of three applicants at its next regular meeting this Monday (Jan. 26).
“We’re hopeful we can present our recommended shortlist of applicants. This will likely be in-camera,” noted Mayor Dan Onichuk, who comprises the CAO selection committee along with Couns. Roy Avis and Neil Kabel.
“I’m also hopeful it will be accepted, and we can make arrangements for interviews to take place as soon as possible,” he added.
This interview process would see the entire council meet with the selected trio of candidates.
The selection committee first met a half-dozen applicants for the position on Jan. 9 in Thunder Bay.
A “headhunter” from the consulting firm of Wescott Thomas, which was retained by the town a few months ago as executive search consultant for the purpose of finding candidates for the position of CAO, first had located more than 20 possible people for job and then narrowed it to eight (six of which were in Thunder Bay earlier this month).
Mayor Onichuk said a new CAO could be hired by next month and be on the job by mid-March, depending, for instance, on whether the newly-hired person has to relocate or wrap up work in their current position before assuming the one here.
The mayor added he couldn’t reveal any more details, such as where the shortlisted candidates may be from or if they’re from a number of local internal applicants for the job.
It was observed at the Jan. 12 committee of the whole meeting, however, that during an in-camera status report on the recruitment of a new CAO, several town employees were asked to leave the room, including acting CAO Mark McCaig, Clerk Glenn Treftlin, Community Services manager George Bell, and Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown.
McCaig, who also is CEO and president of the Fort Frances Power Corp., has been serving as acting CAO since Bill Naturkach retired Sept. 30 after 35 years of employment with the town.