by Derek Cornet
Former Town of La Ronge chief administrative officer Victoria MacDonald said she’s exploring her options after being let go from the position last month.
“It was a council decision, but we amicably agreed to the terms after the fact,” she stated. “It wasn’t necessarily expected, but we’ve agreed to go our separate ways.”
MacDonald’s last day was Jan. 16. She had been employed with the town since January 2013. Prior to that, she worked for the Churchill River Enterprise Region in the area of economic development. MacDonald – who had no experience as a town administrator before being hired – noted she enjoyed the position and learned a lot throughout the years.
MacDonald, however, is unsure if she’ll be able to remain living in La Ronge.
“I’ll have to make the decision what’s best for me and my family, but it’s been a great community and we’ve enjoyed the lifestyle we’ve been able to have since I’ve come up here,” she said.
As of Feb. 3, it will be 100 days since the October 2016 municipal election, which resulted in an entirely new council in La Ronge. The only former member of council to run was councillor Joe Hordyski who ultimately lost the race for mayor to Ron Woytowich. During his campaign, Woytowich claimed there was a morale problem amongst town workers that he wanted to fix.
“I can’t give you a reason for her not being here other than we just wanted to start a change,” he explained. “There was a whole combination of things when it was all put together. And, if you’re going to make changes and if you want certain behaviour and for people to have a lot of respect for the town’s decisions and the process, sometimes you’ve got to start at the top.”
Meanwhile, Jordan McPhail has been declared deputy-mayor in a new process which will allow him to stay in the position until fall. Councillors decided they should all be in the role, so they’ll have experience being the chair of a meeting and a spokesperson.
Woytowich noted McPhail has the spot first because he had the least amount of votes in the election, while Matthew Klassen will be last due to him having the most.
Woytowich went on to say council is also initiating a joint council meeting between the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and the village of Air Ronge. Discussions are also taking place with the town’s solicitor, its planners and engineers, noting the process to build in La Ronge is also too long.
“We want to streamline it to make La Ronge a place, where it doesn’t matter if you want to buy a house, buy a lot or put up a hotel, it doesn’t take two years,” Woytowich added.