Today Mayor John Henderson announced that Tracey Vaughan will be Cobourg’s new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), effective Monday, October 5, 2020. Her current position is Director of Recreation and Culture at Ajax which she has held for 8 years. She also currently lives in Ajax. From her resume on Linked-In (see link below), she has been working since 1998 after graduating from York University with degrees in Sociology and Psychology. Her experience includes “nearly two decades of senior management experience within the municipal and public sectors”.
The Mayor’s announcement continues with:
In her current role as the Director of Recreation, Culture and Community Development with the Town of Ajax she designed and implemented several key strategic plans including the Diversity and Community Engagement Plan, Age Friendly Community Plan and Community Safety Strategy, managed a budget of over $20M and a departmental staff of over 500 employees. Ms. Vaughan also has extensive experience in the areas of economic development, community development and relationship building within a two-tier governance system.
Cobourg’s operating budget is around $25M and the number of staff is approx. 400. Tracey’s salary in 2019 was $180K and her new Cobourg CAO salary would presumably be comparable to Stephen Peacock’s 2018 salary of $225K so it’s a good move for her and hopefully for Cobourg. The photo above right was released with the announcement.
In her statement included in the announcement she said:
“Each and every time I’ve visited Cobourg I have been impressed with not only your incredible waterfront but also with the Town’s thoughtful blend of history, amenities and culture,” states Ms. Vaughan. “I am passionate about building community and fostering an innovative work culture committed to a positive and productive environment for staff and Council. It is a true delight to be a part of the team and I look forward to working alongside Council, Town staff and with the entire community as we continue to move the municipality forward.”
Hiring was managed by a special CAO hiring committee (Mayor Henderson, Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin and Councillor Emily Chorley) who worked with Legacy Executive Search to generate a short list who were then interviewed by all Councillors. The choice of Tracey was unanimous. The budget to pay the executive search company was $20K – $30K.
Mayor Henderson says that she will be “Council’s primary advisor” but she is also the interface who accepts council direction and passes it to staff. That is, staff report to her and not directly to Council. It’s an important role. An unofficial Organization chart is here.
With a start date of October 5, Tracey will be plunged into the middle of budget deliberations for 2021 which will be difficult because of the impact of Covid-19.