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St. Mary’s top official, Marissa Jordan, moves on

Executive search starts for new CAO

  • May 3 2023
  • By Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter    

ST. MARY’S – After just more than a year on the job, the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s top official is leaving to pursue other opportunities in her home province of Prince Edward Island.

The well-respected chief administrative officer – who, prior to her appointment in February 2022, served as the municipality’s clerk and then economic development officer – made the announcement at the committee of the whole meeting on April 19.

In an email to The Journal last week, she said, “In the coming months, myself and council will begin searching for possible candidates to serve as the new CAO of St. Mary’s,” adding, “It’s been my pleasure to serve our residents and work within such an amazing team of Council members and staff.”

Reflecting the sentiments of his colleagues on council, Deputy Warden James Fuller said, “Marissa brought, with her, years of experience as our municipal clerk and development director. During her tenure she motivated, mentored, and led the municipality’s team towards a higher level of service.”

Originally from P.E.I., Jordan worked with her husband in the family landscaping business in Sherbrooke — running administration and keeping the books — until 2019, when she accepted an offer to become the municipality’s clerk and special projects coordinator, responsible for managing key civic events and initiatives, such as municipal elections.

In 2021, the municipality promoted her to the new position of economic development officer, charged with, among other key duties, promoting local businesses and identifying promising, economically sustainable opportunities for development. She was confirmed as the municipality’s CAO, on a 12-month term, after the resignation of her predecessor David Hutton in February 2022.

Over the past year, Jordan has stick-handled several complicated files — arguably the most important of which was the provincially mandated municipal planning strategy and land-use bylaw – the first in 15 years. She also administered the recent electoral boundary reform, which reduced the number of polling districts in St. Mary’s from seven to five.

In her email, Jordan said, “As my family and I will be relocating to P.E.I., this will involve a thorough search for potential applicants and a competitive interview process.”

According to postings on St. Mary’s website and Facebook page last week, the municipality is now inviting quotations from an executive recruitment firm to provide “HR consulting services to facilitate the recruitment” of a new CAO. “The start date of these services will begin May 16, 2023 and is expected to be completed by July 5, 2023.”

Meanwhile, the permanent, full-time position — with a salary range of $91,071 to 113,389 — is being advertised separately on social media and executive job boards in Canada.

“The Municipality is seeking the right person to lead our municipal administration team,” the position summary says. “The CAO ensures that the policies and programs of the municipality are implemented; advises and informs Council on the operation and affairs of the municipality; and performs the duties and functions and exercises the powers assigned to a Chief Administrative Officer by the Municipal Government Act and other enactments.”

Applications are being accepted until noon, Friday, May 26, or until the position is filled.

“I have truly valued every experience and relationship that I have made within this office and within the community,” Jordan said in her email.

Indeed, Fowler added: “She will be leaving big shoes to fill.”