Oxford County’s top administrator has resigned to pursue “a great opportunity elsewhere” — the top job at the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.
“It’s not going to be easy leaving Oxford,” said Michael Duben, who will remain in Woodstock until Sept. 8 before replacing Chatham-Kent’s now-retired chief administrator Don Shropshire.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here; there’s really good people here. But it’s a good opportunity for me and my family.”
Duben, Oxford's top administrator since September 2020, served as the chief administrator of Muskoka for seven years before that. He has more than 20 years of experience in the public and private sectors, including as a senior corporate law partner with Miller Canfield LLP and five years as a manager with the City of Windsor.
Duben said he was proud of what he and his team accomplished during the last two years, especially in overcoming many of the challenges posed by the pandemic.
“I think that during COVID, we kept our level of service very high. And at the same time, we restructured a few things so that we can provide even better level of service,” he said, citing his involvement with long-term care homes.
“Although we didn’t keep COVID completely out of our homes, we did a really good job, and the impact in our homes was felt far less than in a lot of other places.”
Thursday, Oxford Warden Larry Martin applauded Duben’s work, noting, “Michael brought an enthusiastic and collaborative disposition that will be missed.”
He made “a strong impact in his 21 months,” Martin said in a statement, highlighting Duben’s efforts to lead the county through its COVID-19 response and his role in forming the local government’s diversity, equity and inclusion office.
“He initiated a management restructuring of Woodingford Lodge that positioned the long-term care home to better manage the time and resource demands of those providing medical services.”
County council plans to make interim arrangements and start searching for his replacement in the coming weeks.
The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada
Calvi Leon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press