Thomas Kelly named new C-K CAO

·2 min read

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent has found their new Chief Administrative Officer.

At the end of last week’s planning meeting, it was announced longtime municipal employee Thomas Kelly, the current general manager of infrastructure and engineering, was the successful candidate to replace the retiring Don Shropshire.

Kelly, who has a Master’s Degree and is an engineer, grew up in Chatham-Kent. According to Mayor Darrin Canniff, Kelly’s love for the community gave him a definitive edge over other candidates after an extensive nationwide search.

“He’s committed to the community; he wants to see the community move forward; he has a fantastic vision of the future for the community, and that’s what puts him above all of the other candidates,” said Mayor Canniff. “He will do whatever it takes to get our community moving forward, and I’m excited to have Thomas coming in.”

Canniff admitted filling Shropshire’s shoes is a big job but believes Kelly will keep moving the needle forward to make Chatham-Kent an even better place to live, work, and play.

“Don has taught me first of all how to be a good mentor in the first place, and also how to build a good team and how to look for solutions that really are the best professional advice for council, for the Mayor, and also all the residents as well,” said Kelly.

He added his job is to look at situations, analyze them, study them, and then come back with the best professional advice.

Canniff said Kelly is already familiar with most files. In recent years, Kelly’s department has been addressing serious issues such as shoreline flooding and erosion, along with longstanding challenges related to the municipality’s vast network of roads, bridges and culverts.

While no specific date has been set for the passing of the baton, Kelly is expected to take the CAO reins before the end of the year.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News

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