FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 12, 2022
The Township of Madawaska Valley is pleased to announce Luke Desjardins, MCIP, RPP, as the Manager of Planning & Development and assuming the role effective August 1, 2022. At the Special Meeting of Council on June 29 2022, all members of Council were introduced to Mr. Desjardins where he presented his vision of the future of the Planning & Development Department for the Township of Madawaska Valley.
Following the recent retirement of the Manager of Planning & Licencing, a recruitment process began locally and through various associations such as AMCTO and OACA. Luke is a professional planner with over ten years of municipal planning experience, currently employed with the Township of Greater Madawaska since 2016 and previously with the County of Renfrew for 7 years as a Junior Planner. Luke has also completed his Municipal Administration Program (MAP) with honours, is working on a Certified Municipal Officer (CMO) designation and holds a BCIN, having passed the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing General Legal Process (CBO) exam.
“Council fully supports the new organizational structure of the Townships’ municipal services and after meeting Mr. Desjardins, believes that he has the experience and knowledge to lead the municipality through any upcoming challenges with planning and development,” said Mayor Love. “Council looks forward to working with him in future meetings.”
Luke also has completed various courses in By-law Enforcement, Municipal Freedom of Information (MFIPA), Community Emergency Management, Human Resources and Employment Law through the Association of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO), to name a few. Mr. Desjardins as a professional planner has successfully completed numerous development projects, has taken initiative to identify policy gaps and brings forth a focus on community development and long-term planning. Throughout his career Mr. Desjardins has demonstrated a commitment to encouraging public engagement and has experience processing Official Plan amendments, zoning by-law amendments, minor variances, site plan approvals, subdivision approvals and preparing development agreements.
Suzanne Klatt, CAO/Clerk explained to members of Council, “The search to recruit a professional planner in a growing, prospering, rural municipality has demonstrated that in order to retain, attract and recruit talent, we as a municipality needed to recognize the changing landscape before us since the beginning of the pandemic. And as the municipality sees an influx in development and changes to planning legislation, we must recognize the need to change course – adding a professional planner to the municipal team ensures we protect the interests of Madawaska Valley.”
Luke will work under a hybrid model, 1 day at the Township Municipal Office, and 4 days from home responding to calls and emails and attending planning technical meetings and Council meetings electronically. Responses to walk-ins at the Township Municipal Office will continue with Andrew Peplinskie as he assumes a new role as Planning Services & Facilities Supervisor with oversight of the day-to-day operations under the Planning Department.
Mrs. Klatt further explained, “COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way we work and has proven that a hybrid model of working between home and office can bring efficiencies and savings to an organization while removing the geographic barriers. Our municipal team believes in being proactive and progressive and we fully support this new hybrid model for our Planning Department and collectively welcome Luke Desjardins to our Municipal Team.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Suzanne Klatt, Chief Administrative Officer/Clerk, 613-756-2747 x210