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The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION

Buys reflects on long run as CAO

By: Dave Baxter

Posted: 06/2/2018 7:40 AM

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Niverville CAO Jim Buys, seen here in front of the same building where he has worked since 1985, will officially retire from the CAO position on Friday.

DAVE BAXTER | THE CARILLON Enlarge Image

Niverville CAO Jim Buys, seen here in front of the same building where he has worked since 1985, will officially retire from the CAO position on Friday.

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The same chief administrative officer who has served the Town of Niverville for more than three decades is set to head home from the office for a final time.

Yesterday, Niverville CAO Jim Buys officially retired from the position he has held since 1985.

Buys said because he has held the position for such a long time moving away from the role will be a big transition, but he also believes it’s time to move on.

"There are mixed emotions when you make a major decision such as this," he said. "I have had the privilege of working with a great council and fantastic staff in a community that I have truly enjoyed working for, but it’s time."

Buys said both the Town of Niverville, as well as the municipal operations within it, have grown immensely over his almost 34 years as CAO. It has matched the town’s population growth, which sat at about 1,000 residents in 1985, to more than 5,000 residents today.

"When I started we had one other person on staff here in the office plus myself," Buys said. "Today here in the office we have seven individuals and the services we provide from this office have increased immensely."

He noted there has also been massive growth in other departments including public works and recreation.

"The responsibilities and the scope of the services we are providing to the community have increased immeasurably," he said.

"It’s not the same job description I had 34 years ago."

Buys will remain connected to the town as he will take on the role of executive advisor, but he said he plans to spend his first year in retirement focused on personal responsibilities and on spending time with his family.

Eric King, who for the last two years has been working as Niverville’s head of finance, will now take over the position of CAO, and said he hopes to continue the good work that Buys has done over more than three decades, while also bringing new ideas to the community.

"I hope to bring continued stability to the administration of the town and a new mindset or set of eyes to bring forward new ideas on the development and maintenance of the town," King said.

"I fully know I am not Jim, nor will I try to be. I am very lucky in the staff that I have to work with to make the transition as seamless as possible to our taxpayers."

King added there will be challenges when he steps into the role, but he looks forward to facing those challenges.

"We recently hired Rick Hiebert to undertake the study of police services in Niverville. This will definitely be a major project next year," he said.

"In addition, we are starting work on studying ways to expand the lagoon, obtaining funding for the Community Resource Centre and kick starting the development on the west side of Niverville."

"There is never a dull day in this job and I hope that continues. Challenges are exciting."

A retirement dinner to celebrate Buys’ time as Niverville CAO will be held Sunday at the Niverville Heritage Centre.

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