Council to interview CAO shortlist

Following an in-camera discussion at Monday’s committee of the whole meeting, council agreed to follow through with the interview process in hopes of hiring a new CAO for the Town of Fort Frances.
The final interviews—which will include the CAO selection committee consisting of Mayor Dan Onichuk and Couns. Roy Avis and Neil Kabel, as well as the rest of council (Couns. Tannis Drysdale, Struchan Gilson, Rick Wiedenhoeft, and Todd Hamilton)—are scheduled to take place Thursday.
Mayor Onichuk had stressed last week the selection process must leave no doubt in councillors’ minds that they made the right choice. “The CAO is a crucial job. It’s the top job in town,” he noted.
“I think we’ve got some great candidates up for it, and I’m sure whomever council chooses will do a great job,” he added.
The candidates for the job were trimmed to a shortlist of three at the end of last month, at which time the finalists were approved by council to move on to the interview process.
The selection committee first met a half-dozen applicants for the position 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, initially had located more than 20 possible people for job and then narrowed it down to eight.
Mayor Onichuk said a new CAO could 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.
McCaig, who also is CEO and president of the Fort Frances Power Corp., has been acting CAO since Bill Naturkach retired Sept. 30.
(Fort Frances Times)