Municipality taps former Deputy Minister for vacant CAO post

CAO of the County of Prince Edward Marcia Wallace. (Supplied photo)

Former Deputy Minister of Municipal Housing and Affairs has served over two decades in Ontario Public Service

JASON PARKS

STAFF WRITER

The County of Prince Edward has found its next top administrator.

The Municipality announced Monday it was appointing Marcia Wallace as the new chief administrative officer (CAO).

Wallace joins the municipality with more than 20 years of experience in the Ontario Public Service. Since January 2018, she has served as the assistant deputy minister for the municipal services division with Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

“I am excited to join The County in this role,” Wallace said in a statement issued by the County of Prince Edward. “Prince Edward County is a very unique municipality, and while not without challenges, I see incredible opportunity. I’m delighted to be a part of its future.”

The CAO recruitment committee and executive search firm Feldman Daxon Partners conducted a thorough search process over the past several months, which attracted applicants from across the country. Council unanimously approved the committee’s recommendation to appoint Ms. Wallace.

Currently, Robert McAuley is serving at acting CAO and was appointed that role in April after the working relationship between the municipality and former CAO James Hepburn had ended.

“We are thrilled Marcia has agreed to join us. She brings to The County a fresh perspective and a wealth of new ideas gleaned from her previous positions,” said Steve Ferguson, Mayor, County of Prince Edward. “Marcia’s extensive knowledge of local municipalities and her policy background will allow her to find creative ways to tackle complex issues. We are confident that she will provide outstanding leadership across the corporation.”

In her role as assistant deputy minister,  Wallace provided leadership to the division responsible for the ministry’s regional offices, the Building Code, and disaster recovery programs. Prior to this role, she led high profile policy and program initiatives at the ministries of Municipal Affairs, Housing, and Environment. Highlights from that work included designing site-specific solutions with municipalities in Central Ontario and sector-wide transformation of government services, in areas including brownfield redevelopment, energy projects, and environmental compliance approvals.

Wallace holds a PhD in Urban Planning from the University of Waterloo and is a Registered Professional Planner with the Ontario Professional Planners Institute. She began her career as an assistant professor at York University in 1999 before joining the Ontario Public Service. She continues to lecture in the Local Government Diploma Program at Western University in London, Ontario.

Wallace will relocate to Prince Edward County and begin in the CAO position on Dec. 16.

Municipality Director of Communications Mark Kerr confirmed that a media availability session with Wallace will be made closer to her start date.

With a CAO now in place, it’s expected Wallace and the municipality will turn its attention to the vacant position of Director of Community Development and Strategic Initiatives sometime in the new year.

Neil Carbone, the former director, left the post this summer to take on the role of CAO of South Frontenac Township.