Westport is getting a new top administrator in the New Year.
With more than 20 years under his belt, Paul Snider, the village’s current CAO/clerk, will be retiring in late January, to be replaced by current Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands clerk Kimberly Westgate.
Earlier this year the village put out a call for a new CAO/clerk and found that Westgate would be a great fit for Westport.
“She seemed to tick just about every box that we could ask for,” said Snider.
Westgate has been working with the township for about 12 years in various positions, starting as an administrative assistant and working her way up to her current clerk position. This new position in Westport will be her first time working in a chief administrative officer position.
Snider explained that during her time in with the township she implemented a paperless record management system and has knowledge of website administration and social media work as well.
“I just wish Kimberly all the best. I think she’s going to do very well here,” said Snider, adding that she’s from a small community herself so she should fit right in.
“I’m excited for this opportunity,” said Westgate. “I’ve never been a CAO; I’ve just been a clerk and I’ve also served in many different roles in the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands. As well I’ve obtained different levels of training in all those different roles and I think that’s positioned me well to transition into the CAO.”
Westgate will be starting her new position on Jan. 27. Originally it was planned that Snider would leave at the end of that month just a few days later but it didn’t leave much cross-over time, so he’ll be sticking around for a couple of weeks after.
Snider has been working in municipal government since Jan. 2, 1991, most recently as the director of municipal services/clerk in Loyalist Township before coming back home to Westport as CAO/Clerk in 2017.
“I grew up in this town so it’s kind of like coming home; I thought I’d finish up my years until retirement at home,” said Snider, adding he’s excited to be able to retire after many years of working, but it’s not without some trepidation.
Before starting a long career in municipal government, Snider was working for about 10 years in banking.
In a prepared statement, TLTI Mayor Corinna Smith-Gatcke said: “On behalf of council, I wish to congratulate Kim on her new role with the Village of Westport and also to thank her for her years of service to the township and support of council and the committees of council.”
(Jessica Munro is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Brockville Recorder and Times. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.)