Jeff Green | Apr 23, 2009
Back to HomeFeature Article - April 23, 2009 Central Frontenac Works Manager resigns
John Simcock, the outspoken Public Works Manager for Central Frontenac Township, will resign on May 2nd, after just under one year on the job. He reportedly has taken a job in Prince Edward County.
“We were informed about it yesterday,” said Central Frontenac Mayor Janet Gutowksi. “It really was a family thing for him. His partner’s parents live in Prince Edward County and they have health issues, so when a job opening came he took it”
Simcock’s career in Central Frontenac was certainly colourful. At his first meeting with Council he stressed that the workers under him would have to be trained and certified in short order.
“In a year and a half, the people that are still here will deliver a lot of service,” he told Council at the time.
John Simcock was integrally involved in the implementation of an organisational review and restructured the public works department during his short tenure. He also brought in five and ten year roads capital improvement plans to try to rationalize road construction work in Central Frontenac and remove it from an overly political process wherein Councillors from each district have been known to battle it out each year for their share of road improvements.
But there was a bit of controversy recently when Simcock brought in a public works budget that was $1 million higher than the 2008 budget, with most of the extra cost being related to increased staffing and to improved, more expensive winter maintenance.
Although his budget was not cut when he met with Council to defend it, it was subsequently cut by $200,000 just before the budget received final approval. Simcock will not be around to institute those cuts.
Mayor Gutowski said that one of the things she appreciated most about what Simcock has done in his year on the job was the way “he raised the bar for our employees in terms of health and safety issues. He really rose to the challenge and did a tremendous amount of work. We will miss him.”
John Simcock will stay in Central Frontenac long enough to be involved in a major grant application however. The federal infrastructure stimulus program which will pay for 2/3 of the cost of approved projects, has just been announced and applications are due on May 1st.