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Windsor’s CAO planning to retire ahead of consolidation with West Hants

CAO Louis Coutinho
CAO Louis Coutinho - SaltWire File Photo

‘A private matter’

WINDSOR, N.S. —

In a letter to Windsor council from December, previously a private, in-camera item, CAO Louis Coutinho indicated that he intends to leave his post leading up to the town’s consolidation with West Hants.

In the letter, the town’s chief administrative officer states that his term was originally slated to come up in October 2020, which is after the town and municipality of West Hants are set to merge in April 2020.

“Given the changing times, I feel it is the appropriate (time) to discuss an exit strategy with council,” Coutinho said in the letter.

A new CAO for the combined region of Windsor-West Hants will be appointed by the co-ordinating committee, which is administering the consolidation process.

As of July 2019, Coutinho will have been with the town for 13 years.

Coutinho has suggested to the co-ordinating committee that they should seek to hire a new, regional CAO “sooner rather than later.”

The request for proposals for an executive search for a new CAO has gone to tender.

In the letter, Coutinho said a newly appointed CAO should spearhead the consolidation effort, citing his desire to step aside and provide advice as needed.

“The town has been good to me and I will do whatever I can to be helpful even in my retirement should matters arise, but it will be because I am asked for advice not because it is my job to advise,” the letter reads. “I believe it would be the right time to exit the organization.”

When asked about Coutinho’s pending retirement on March 7, Windsor Mayor Anna Allen said the letter is a private matter.

“The letter was for council, not public information, so when he wants to announce something down the road that’s one thing,” she said. “It was really for us to prepare for it.”

Allen said council is working on an exit strategy for Coutinho, although a timeline isn’t known at this point.

“It’s a personnel matter; it’s not news to the community, it’s his own personal decision,” she added. “When it’s time, we’ll make a public announcement.”

When reached via email for comment, Coutinho said “The letter is a private matter between me and council and I will await their response. I’ll be happy to talk to you at a later date when the opportunity arises.” 

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