DRYDEN – Civic – The City of Dryden is looking to dig out from some of the fiscal issues facing the Northwestern Ontario community.
Dryden is welcoming Mr. André Larabie as its new Chief Administrative Officer, effective November 18, 2013. Mr. Larabie brings with him over 36 years of experience in management and finance in the government and private sectors. He is a fully-bilingual, Franco-Ontarian born in Ottawa, and he comes to Dryden from the Nunavut Territory where he served as Senior Administrative Officer for four years.
“We look forward to a prosperous future with André”, said Mayor Nuttall
At the regular Committee of the Whole Meeting held November 12, 2013 Council directed the scheduling of a Special Open Council Meeting at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, November 15, 2013 to confirm the appointment.
Larabie has served as an adult educator and instructor in the Management Studies Program at three colleges in Ontario and Nunavut. He holds an MBA along with certifications in Business and Corporate Coaching, Mediation, and Conflict Resolution.
The incoming CAO will face several challenges. Dryden is deeply in debt. The City of Dryden is $40 million in debt.
The City is facing a huge issue in paying down debt as well as in finding the needed funds for municipal operations.
The City has gone past its $7.5 million line of credit for operating expenses. The interest rate the City of Dryden is paying, after exceeding that credit limit is 22%. That is basically similar to the interest rates on a credit card.
The winter could present some serious challenges for Dryden. Over 85% of the City’s snow clearing budget for 2013 has already been spent. Last spring’s late start put a serious cramp into the City’s budget.
The City’s spending issues are also impacting both residential and business taxes. Paying down the debt is pushing up tax rates.
His first priority is to work with Council, the senior staff and the senior consultant on the KPMG Review project to identify critical changes to be implemented in coming months. The ultimate goal of the KPMG Review is to modify operations in a financially responsible way such that Dryden remains an attractive place to live and a viable place for businesses to thrive.