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Union Leaders, Police, and Fire Chiefs to Be Consulted in CAO Search in Sault Ste



Union Leaders, Police, and Fire Chiefs to Be Consulted in CAO Search in Sault Ste

Union Leaders, Police, and Fire Chiefs to Be Consulted in CAO Search in Sault Ste. In the quest to find a suitable successor for Malcolm White, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the City of Sault Ste. Marie, a unique blend of backgrounds and experiences is coming together to ensure the hiring process remains transparent and diligent.

Former Ontario Junior A Hockey Player Joins the Search Team

Assisting in the search for the next CAO of Sault Ste. Marie is a former Ontario Junior A hockey player, adding a dynamic element to the recruitment process.

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Toronto-Based Executive Recruiters Engaged in a Complex Task

The executive recruiters from Toronto-based firm Feldman Daxon Partners Inc. have been entrusted with the challenging task of identifying the right candidate for the CAO position in Sault Ste. Marie. Their responsibility is underscored by the city’s history of scrutinizing CAO hirings.

A Cautionary Tale: Joe Fratesi’s Controversial Appointment

During a meeting with Mayor Matthew Shoemaker, the search consultants received a cautionary tale from the past—the controversial 1995 hiring of Joe Fratesi as CAO. Fratesi, who had been the city’s longest-serving mayor at the time, faced conflict of interest allegations and was subsequently banned from participating in city council or local boards for six years. Despite this, he went on to serve as CAO for almost two decades before retiring in 2017.


The Mayor Message: A Need for DiligenceMayor Shoemaker emphasized the importance of conducting a meticulous and transparent hiring process, given the community’s sensitivity to past incidents. The mayor acknowledged the history of controversial CAO appointments within the city and emphasized the need for third-party consultants to ensure an above-board procedure.

Surprise at the Controversy

The consultants, Patrick Rowan and Marty Greenaway from Feldman Daxon Partners Inc., expressed surprise upon learning about the Fratesi controversy. Neither of them had visited Sault Ste. Marie previously, although Greenaway had an interesting history as a hockey player in various Ontario Junior Hockey leagues.

A Race Against Time: Aiming for a Timely Replacement

Rowan is optimistic about completing the CAO hiring process ahead of Malcolm White’s scheduled retirement date of January 31. Their strategy includes conducting interviews and surveys involving various community stakeholders to gather input on the ideal qualities for the city’s next CAO.

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Consulting a Diverse Range of Stakeholders

To ensure a comprehensive perspective, Rowan and Greenaway plan to consult a wide array of community stakeholders, including:

  1. City Councillors
  2. Labor Leaders from the City’s Five Bargaining Groups
  3. Senior City Managers
  4. Fire Chief
  5. Police Chief
  6. Sault Area Hospital
  7. Algoma University
  8. Sault College
  9. PUC
  10. Sault Ste. Marie Public Library

Exploring Challenges and Priorities

In addition to seeking input on desirable qualities in a CAO, stakeholders will be asked about the challenges and priorities expected to confront the city in the coming years.

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Casting a Wide Net for Candidates

While most candidates for the CAO position are expected to be sourced within the province, the search consultants plan to extend their efforts nationally to ensure a diverse and qualified pool of candidates is considered for the role.


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