A five-month search for a new Chief Administration Officer to replace the retiring Hans Loewig, has resulted is the appointment of Executive Director Ann Pappert.
So the $45,000 spent on an executive search firm was wasted. The obligatory line-up of candidates present by the headhunter was seven. But, miracle of the bells! The person best equipped to do the job was right inside city hall. It was necessary to hold this expensive search charade to make it look responsible to the public.
It is obvious the patch was in and Mayor Karen Farbridge has firmly solidified her grip on this administration. If you believe this appointment was above board and fair, I have a Carden Street skating rink to sell you.
To top it off, council had the gall to name Hans Loewig COA, Emeritus and he agreed to stay on the job until the end of the year. This means that taxpayers are paying for two CAO’s for almost four months
So what’s the fallout of these decisions?
With two key managers already giving notice, the exodus of staff will become more apparent by the new year as the news of this appointment already has city hall copy machines humming with resumes flying out the door.
Sources say Ms. Pappert is not the most popular among senior managers. She cannot possibly be any worse that Hans Loewig who turned out to be a part-time CAO taking extended leaves of paid absences during his four years on the job. Emeritus, you say?
The trouble is the new CAO faces serious financial problems as the city’s debt and future obligations extend beyond the ability to pay. Even Loewig acknowledged the debt problem and the high cost to carry it. What does he know and is not telling?
The first crisis will come when the Judge at the September 12 trial will determine if the city must pay capital costs of $10.8 million toward the proposed Public Health headquarters on Stone Road. The other shoe to fall is the increase of Guelph’s contribution toward this exercise from $68,000 to $998,000 annually.
Pappert should look in the mirror. She has been part of the quartet of senior managers, called the executive team, that steered the city into this financial swamp since their appointment in August 2009. This structure was formed because CAO Loewig was not on the job because of frequent absences.
Political power is corruptible. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.