Teary-eyed farewell for Puslinch CAO Karen Landry

ABERFOYLE – June 19 marked Puslinch CAO Karen Landry’s final council meeting with the township.

Councillors and fellow staff members said they will miss Landry, who started working at the municipality six years ago.

Mayor James Seeley noted that in his six months “you’ve made the transition (to mayor) seamless.

“You truly will be missed and I wish you all the best in your new career. (Orangeville) is very fortunate to receive such a wonderful individual.”

Councillor Matthew Bulmer said, “When I think of our CAO, I think of someone who picks up the slack.”

“It is going to be very difficult to find someone who is willing to pick up that slack.”

Bulmer stressed that in a small municipality “it is an important part of the job that the CAO does.”

Bulmer said he believed staff appreciated that.

“Thank you very much for your willingness to keep us on the straight and narrow and to pick up the slack as needed.”

Councillor  Jessica Goyda added “though I’ve only been working with you directly for a short time, even before that there was lots of back and forth discussions – even as I was running for council. You were always very knowledgeable and helpful.”

Goyda said, “I really think staff here will miss you dearly. I think you have done an excellent job of building a cohesive team. That will be a really hard thing to replace.”

Councillor John Sepulis added, “We’ll miss you for sure, as will the residents of Puslinch.”

He agreed Landry had helped build a great team and he stressed he could not say enough good things about Landry.

Councillor Ken Roth said, “In six years, I don’t think anyone could have accomplished what you did.” He noted Landry helped bring in some terrific policies and put together a great staff.

“With you our staff have become much more friendly,” said Roth. “I’ve never, ever seen so many people bring in gifts for the staff like doughnuts and coffee. You completely turned our building department around … I could go on forever.”

He added, “Damn it, I’m just not happy to see you go. It’s Orangeville’s gain and our loss and I wish you all the best.”

Roth then quipped, “I’m sure you’ll hit the ground running and soon you’ll be running the town.”

Landry teared up as she thanked both current and past members of council for their support.

“It has been a privilege and honour to work with each and every member of council, the community of Puslinch and its residents,” said Landry.

She added “none of us achieves success in isolation, and the successes we have enjoyed together have been the result of mutual cooperation and collaboration.”

Landry added that council, together with staff, has accomplished a significant amount over the past six years, including the township’s first community strategic plan, a fire master plan, a recreation and parks master plan, asset management, a 10-year capital forecast, and the adoption of a new logo and signage branding program.

“Each employee here brings a different and unique set of skills and strengths that contribute to the township’s overall success,” she said.

“I am proud of the Puslinch team. Although small in size, it has the skilled and competent staff with a work ethic that exceed that of our larger counterparts.

“It has been an honour and privilege to work alongside council and staff. I will miss each and every one of you.”