CAO leaving BV for top position in Arnprior

Eganville — After 17 years in Bonnechere Valley as CAO, Bryan Martin is taking on a bigger municipality in Arnprior.
“I’m going to miss the community here,” he told the Leader on Monday. “The community has been like extended family. But there is also something exciting about moving with a bit of added uncertainty about the unknown.”
Originally from Renfrew, he has called Eganville home since assuming the job of CAO in 2002. In his time as CAO, he has dealt with many different reeves, mayors and council, as well as enjoyed being involved in the community, especially with involvement with local hockey.
Mr. Martin will be heading to take over the top job in Arnprior on August 9, but before this he already had some vacation planned, so will be out of the office for the last two weeks in July. In the interim, it is a busy transition time as he prepares for the administrative move.
Being in the Valley is what feels like home, but Mr. Martin also spent 13 years working in the Artic, the last four of which was for a municipality. Prior to this, he was in retail and then working for an airline. He was working for the community of Hall Beach when he decided to come south with his wife and family.
“Then we came back to Renfrew and then this position in Eganville became available and I started here,” he said. “So this became home.”
Following the death of his wife, Mr. Martin was living in Eganville up until a year ago when he moved to Arnprior to be with his new partner, Karen. So he became a commuter which had its own challenges, especially in the winter. When the possibility of the job opened up in Arnprior, he felt the time was right to make the professional move.
“Obviously it is an ideal situation,” he said. “Living in the community gives me the opportunity to live, work and play there.”
Being a part of the community is important, he feels.
“People can seem me at the grocery store, or out having supper,” he said. “You have a vested interest when you live in the community.”
Mr. Martin is proud of many things accomplished during his time in BV. Some significant recent achievements were the creation of a comprehensive waste management strategy as well as the development of the asset management plan, he said.
“I’ve also had the opportunity to work with some wonderful people,” he said.
As one of the senior CAOs in REnfrew County, he said he has enjoyed his career in the public service.
“I love the work that I do,” he said. “I love working with my councils and community. There will always be challenges, but that is part of the job.”
Mr. Martin said continual pressure from the provincial government is making it tough for municipalities.
“The province keeps enacting regulations which keep us on our toes,” he said.
While his departure is leaving a large void in terms of corporate knowledge, he believes this is also an opportunity for a transition time as there are other senior staff members who have announced retirement dates or would be eligible to soon.
“So it could be an optimal time for refreshing,” he said. “Someone new will have the opportunity to build a team around them.”
With 29 years of professional experience, his municipal trajectory has been partly hands on and partly through professional associations. With about 50 per cent of senior management working in municipalities across the province stated to retire soon, he said this is a good career for young people to consider.
“I’ve made this my life,” he said. “I believe when the job becomes work, then you need to find a new job.”
There are challenges to being in public service, he noted.
“Everything you do is talked about in the public,” he said. “Social media also makes it more complicated.”
His oldest daughter is following in his footsteps in some ways since she is now a councillor at Hall Beach, Nunavut.
“So she is on the other side of the table,” he said.
With a daughter in Eganville and son in Carleton Place, he enjoys time with the grandchildren as much as possible and Arnprior has been a good location for this.
Mr. Martin is looking forward to the transition to his new position but also will be visiting Eganville, especially to see his daughter.
Arnprior Mayor Walter Stack welcomed Mr. Martin to town hall.
“He is a strategic leader that brings an extensive background in team
management, diverse project management, collective agreements, and program
efficiency and effectiveness,” he said. “We are excited to have Bryan join the Arnprior team and to have an Arnprior resident leading the administrative team at the town.”