Essex County council bids farewell to CAO

 

By Jolene Perron

 

“Before I ask for adjournment, I just want to note that this is the last meeting for our CAO Mr. Gregg.”

Warden Tom Bain stood in front of Essex County council last week with a plaque which read “Essex County Council resolves to extend our sincere appreciation and best wishes to Chief and Administrative Officer Brian Gregg for your commitment, guidance and outstanding leadership to the council and to the staff of the Corporation of the County of Essex and for your 30 years of service to the residents of Essex County. May the blessings of good health, the joy of good friends, a loving family and the contentment of a job well done fill your life with happiness. Congratulations on your retirement.”

The new CAO of the County of Essex is Robert Maisonville. Maisonville assumed his new duties last Thursday.

Warden Tom Bain presents retiring CAO Brian Gregg with a plaque, addressing his 30 years with the County of Essex during the Sept. 6 council meeting.

Bain continued to explain what Gregg was like on job. He explained that he’s serious, he digs down for the information needed, he gets the answers and he’s tremendous to work it.

“As with most people there is another side of Brian and I didn’t really believe it until one night I was in Lakeshore arena and I see this guy playing hockey,” explained Bain. “When you put a helmet on someone and a pair of skates can it ever change someone. I thought, is this our CAO out there on the ice, in that little box on the side?”

Jokingly, Bain recalled the first time he saw Gregg play hockey, bringing a light-hearted bit of cheer to what was a heavyhearted farewell.

“I do want to certainly say on behalf of all of county council what a tremendous job you’ve done,” said Bain. “For 30 years you have led us and working with you and I know it’s teamwork, but you’ve got us into a position that as a county we are strong and we don’t have the debt there, we are able to meet any problems that come head on and I know that you and I have sat down a number of times and I can honestly only think of one time when I didn’t see eye to eye and I gave into you anyways.”

Gregg followed up Bain’s speech with one of his own. He laughed with agreement that during his time playing hockey he most certainly has spent a little too much time in the penalty box.

Officially, Gregg explained September 29 will be his retirement date but with some of the vacation time he has available, he tentatively scheduled Friday as his last day in office. However, he did have a Monday morning meeting scheduled. With some loose ends to tie up before leaving, he plans on being in and out of the office between now and Sept. 29, however the Sept. 6 county council meeting would be his last.

An honour and a privilege is how Gregg described his service to the County of Essex as the CAO, a position which he has held for 19 years, closing out his 30 year career with the County of Essex, an accomplishment he said he is extremely proud of. He is also proud of what County of Essex has been able to accomplish over the last 19 years, which he describes as being “conservatively progressive.”

– County councillors bid farewell to their CAO Brian Gregg. The new CAO for the County of Essex is Robert Maisonville.

“I was never one to try to hit the big home run or make the big splash, but it was more about continuing the move forward and do the right thing to enable us to serve the residents of the county of Essex,” said Gregg. “I am extremely proud of the initiatives we have undertaken as a county over the last 20 years. However the success that we have achieved over the last 20 years isn’t mine alone. It certainly is shared by the strength of the administrative team that we have here in the county. These folks that sit to the left and to the right of us are really the backbone of the county. I am continuously amazed at the creativity that they bring to their jobs, the responsiveness that they bring to their residents and to the members of council. They drive to be proactive and I suggest that maybe we aren’t always flashy, but we are open and we are doing things that anticipate what’s coming down the road next rather than just always having to react to things.”

Through tears, Gregg thanked his family. He said while he believes every politician probably does this when it comes time for him or her to move on, he is no different.

“Going forward I firmly believe the County is in a great place and is in excellent shape both financially and operationally,” said Gregg. “I wish you all and the administrative team here at the county the best as you continue to administer the affairs of the county. In summary, I’d like to borrow a couple little lines that Warden Bain has come out with in a number of these addresses that he’s made over the past few years. The first one is that Essex County is indeed the pre-emptive place to live, learn, work, play, invest and visit. And if anyone, any time ever hears anybody that says why Essex county? The answer ought to be, why not Essex County?”

 

Comments are closed.