Essex County Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic AGM features CAO as guest speaker

By Jonathan Martin


The Essex County Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic presented its annual report June 20, where Amherstburg CAO John Miceli stepped up as the night’s guest speaker.

Miceli lauded the clinic’s “notable success,” but also provided a little bit more insight into Amherstburg’s own plans to adopt the clinic’s programming.

Miceli brought the listeners back to Aug. 21, 2017, when Amherstburg Councillor Diane Pouget put forward a unanimously supported motion that “administration should be directed to investigate the number of family physicians and the availability of current and future services to residents of Amherstburg.”

Miceli then brought a report before council on Oct. 23, 2017 outlining provincial funding to expand primary care services for $15.5 million.

He was given a resolution that “the CAO be directed to work with Pauline Gemmell, executive director of Essex County nurse practitioner-led clinic, to develop a business case and apply for grant funding for the expansion and enhancing of interprofessional primary care for the Town of Amherstburg.”

Amherstburg CAO John Miceli speaks at the Essex County Nurse
Practitioner-led Clinic AGM June 20 in Essex.

Council voted in favour.

It supported the initiative for two reasons, according to Miceli.  First, he says it was an opportunity to broaden the Amherstburg health care network and provide Amherstburg residents with access to additional front-line medical professionals.  Secondly, it allowed the town to partner with the Essex County Nurse Practitioner-led Clinic.  Miceli said the clinic has a “proven, success model” and that the program’s success is “known in (Amherstburg).”

Miceli said the clinic is doing an “exceptional job, which makes me grateful, because it makes my job easy.”

Miceli confirms that the new clinic will be located at the old St. Bernard School at 320 Richmond St., which he described as a “great location.”  He reiterated that the clinic will be part of the town’s planned seniors’ hub, but that it would be open to residents of any age.  In fact, he emphasized that the town’s new high school will be located just across the street at the southern 15 acres of Centennial Park.

“Acquiring St. Bernard’s was strategic,” he said.  “We knew we wanted to have programming with the new high school and knew that we wanted intergenerational programming.”

The CAO did recognize that Amherstburg’s senior population is growing quickly, though.  At present, seniors make up around 20 per cent of the town’s residents.  Within the next three to four years, that number is expected to leap up five percentage points.

Miceli said he expects the clinic to be open by the end of 2018 or in early 2019, which he expects will allow the town to meet the increased medical demand.

CAO defends family members on town’s payroll, says he wasn’t part of hiring process



By Ron Giofu


With knowledge being gained by members of the public that CAO John Miceli has family members working for the town, he is defending the hiring process.

Miceli acknowledged that his brother is now an electrician for the town and that he has a nephew working as a part-time general labourer but he cited town policies and his involvement in the hiring process, or lack thereof, as reasons why he views both hires as being proper. The CAO pointed out there is a town anti-nepotism policy, enacted Dec. 13, 2004, that prohibits against the hiring of qualified persons “whether or not they have immediate relatives employed in the town or whether or not they have immediate relatives as a member of town council, provided that no applicant shall be hired for employment except with the approval of town council to occupy a position in the same immediate working area, under the same immediate supervisor or where one or more of his/her family supervises another.”

The policy, Miceli pointed out, is written to where it says it should “neither be a hindrance nor advantage to employment in the Town of Amherstburg” and that the town “will not discriminate in its hiring practices on the basis that the person is related to a current employee or member of town council.” The policy states that the employer may grant or withhold employment or advancement in employment to a person who is a spouse, child or parent of the employer or an employee.

“Our overall intent remains that vacated positions may be staffed by qualified candidates selected on the basis of education, experience, knowledge, ability and suitability within the framework of legislation, collective agreements, equal opportunity, budgetary limitations and corporate needs,” the policy reads.

CAO John Miceli.

Miceli stated allegations against him that something improper was done “doesn’t meet the test of nepotism under town policies.” He said the town is “committed to hiring the most qualified individuals” and said he was not part of any hiring panels to fill the positions his brother and nephew both got.

His brother “is a qualified electrician and he holds a master’s license,” said Miceli. The hiring panel consisted of the manager of facilities, manager of roads and fleet and the human resources manager. His nephew was interviewed by the manager of facilities and the human resources manager and was one of four applicants.

“I was not involved in the hiring process,” he said. “I’ve been in (municipal government) for 27 years and I respect policies and procedures. You will not see me hire a unionized position and these are unionized positions. I do not supervise these people.”

Miceli believed a lot of people who complain are “anti-change” and said there are a lot of people who are related to each other working for the town.

“We are not going to discriminate against family if they are the most qualified,” said Miceli. “Why would we?”

The town hiring of an electrician and a plumber and bringing the work inside instead of contracting it out is something Miceli said is his track record.

“We were spending far more on contractors to do the work rather than do it internally,” he said. “Seeing the types of bills happening in town showed for me why we need to do the work in house. The town was not getting value for money.”

Both are also facility attendants, he added, meaning that if there was not enough electrical or plumbing work in town, they have other duties to tend to.

The CAO added that hiring the best candidates often means hiring from out-of-town.

“All we’re looking for is the most qualified individuals,” Miceli contended. “Wherever they reside is no concern of mine.”

Acknowledging the public concern that many former Windsor staff members are employed in Amherstburg, Miceli said 178 city employees reside in Amherstburg.

“I just find it so interesting that people in town think you have to hire in town,” he said.

Miceli said he is willing to match his record against any other previous CAO.

“Please put my record against any of them,” he said. “Show me where I have done wrong.”

Miceli added he has an open door policy and is willing to discuss issues with residents, but noted council makes decisions based on recommendations of administration and administration executes.

“If there is a resident who has issues with the way I am running the organization, they can file a complaint,” said Miceli. “They can file a complaint against me and the hiring practices of the town.”

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?”


Essex County doesn’t look far to find its next CAO



By Ron Giofu


After what the County of Essex dubbed a “lengthy search and competitive recruitment process that spanned several weeks” for its next chief administrative officer (CAO), the final selection ended up being a familiar face.

The county announced Friday that Rob Maisonville will be the new CAO and will replace the retiring Brian Gregg. Maisonville, the current director of corporate services/treasurer, will begin his new duties Sept. 7.

“I got the word Thursday afternoon,” said Maisonville.

Maisonville knew he was one of three people who received a second interview for the job and said he wasn’t afraid to go through the process and competing with other people for the position.

“I’ve been working for the corporation for 27 years,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of good things in the time I’ve been here. I look forward to continuing to work with residents, staff, council, partners and stakeholders to deliver high-quality services and contribute to making Essex County the outstanding region that it is. My goal is to continue the great work we’ve been doing.”

Rob Maisonville will become the County of Essex’s new chief  administrative officer (CAO) Sept. 7. He is currently serving as the director of corporate services/treasurer.

Rob Maisonville will become the County of Essex’s new chief
administrative officer (CAO) Sept. 7. He is currently serving as the director of corporate services/treasurer.

Maisonville said the county is in “great shape” financially, citing numerous factors including no debt, a fully developed asset management plan and a AA credit rating. He added there are challenges to face as well, such as social issues like homelessness, service delivery, and the ongoing road rationalization study to analyze the county road network and a possible adjustment of that..

Following several years of employment in the private sector, Maisonville began his career with the County of Essex in 1990 as a financial analyst, progressing in various capacities throughout the years, from financial supervisor to controller/deputy treasurer to his current position as the director of corporate services/treasurer in Sept. 1999.

Maisonville doesn’t eye any major alterations when he takes over as CAO.

“I don’t see any fundamental changes,” he said. “We’re just going to continue to improve what we’re doing.”

A resident of Essex County, Maisonville also holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Masters in Business Administration degrees from the University of Windsor. The latest promotion is something he sees as “a natural progression of my professional goals.

“I am thankful for (county) council’s support and trust in the work I have done,” he added.

Warden Tom Bain said in a press release that the search for a new CAO was a very detailed and extensive process.

“We conducted our search using a variety of platforms and we received a number of interested applicants. The hiring committee and county council are pleased that Mr. Maisonville, given his expertise and passion for community, has accepted the position. We have every confidence that he has the vision and dedication to fully serve the residents of Essex County and that he will continue to build upon the organization’s long-standing reputation for success.”

Maisonville added that the county will have to “go through the process” of having to fill his current role but said he will remain as director of corporate services/treasurer until that process is undertaken.




Demolition resumes at Duffy’s site after delays



By Ron Giofu


Delays have occurred in the demolition of Duffy’s Tavern & Motor Inn but the town’s chief administrative officer states the goal is still to be able to use the site during the Canuck It Up Festival.

Crews could be seen at points last week working at the site as demolition appears to have resumed.

CAO John Miceli said there were issues that caused the demolition to be delayed. One of the issues was a motorcycle crash that injured Jones Group owner Terry Jones.

A Jones Group excavator was seen working at the site of the former Duffy’s Motor Inn Monday morning. Demolition had been delayed at the site but has now resumed.

A Jones Group excavator was seen working at the site of the former Duffy’s Motor Inn Monday morning. Demolition had been delayed at the site but has now resumed.

“We are working with the Jones Group to provide us with a revised schedule as there was a couple of things that did delay the project,” said Miceli. “The first was Terry’s untimely accident and the second was an order that was issued to the Jones Group by the Ministry (of Labour) which has subsequently been lifted.”

Miceli pointed out the Ministry of Labour “has some overarching powers and on this project was seeking written protocols on the demolition process. Unfortunately this  was complicated from a timing perspective with Terry’s untimely accident and has caused some delays.”

The CAO added: “I have been advised by the Jones Group that they will be working diligently to make up time so that we can have access to the site in time for Canuck it Up. I know that the Jones Group knows how important this festival is for the Town and they want to deliver for us.”

The Canuck It Up Festival is Aug. 5-6.