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Three councillors and CAO quit Alberton town hall in one week

It’s business as usual for Alberton’s chief administrative officer, Susan Wallace-Flynn, but just for one more week. Wallace-Flynn, who has held the position for 35 years and attended 808 regular and special meetings, informed councillors Monday night she is retiring.
It’s business as usual for Alberton’s chief administrative officer, Susan Wallace-Flynn, but just for one more week. Wallace-Flynn, who has held the position for 35 years and attended 808 regular and special meetings, informed councillors Monday night she is retiring. - Eric McCarthy
ALBERTON, P.E.I. —

Alberton is looking for three new town councillors and a chief administrative officer.

Susan Wallace-Flynn, who has been the town’s administrator and chief administrative officer for 35 years, asked councillors to remain for a short meeting following this week’s regular meeting, and then quietly informed them of her decision to retire.

Wallace-Flynn will be on the job until June 21, before going on vacation and then shifting into retirement.

During Monday’s regular monthly meeting, Coun. Claudia Gallant announced she too is leaving, effective the end of June, because she and her husband are moving out of town. Their home recently sold. Gallant served on town council from 2009 to 2014, and then returned to council in last November’s municipal election.

Mayor David Gordon confirmed Friday that two more councillors, David Cahill and Donnie Bernard, have also tendered their resignations this week; both cited health concerns.

Cahill tendered his resignation on Tuesday, June 11.

Cahill, who was first elected to council in 1988, has served as councillor for 26 and a half of the past 31 years. He served several terms as deputy mayor and as finance committee chairman. Mayor Gordon reappointed Cahill deputy mayor in January and put him in charge of the environment and sewer utility committee.  He was not available for comment on Friday.

Bernard submitted his resignation, effective June 30, to Wallace-Flynn June 14.

Bernard joined council for the first time in the November 2018 election. On Friday, he said stress had brought on a heart attack in the past and he could feel the stress starting to return. 

“I enjoyed it immensely,” Bernard said of his role as town councillor. 

But he acknowledged the position did carry a degree of stress. He wanted to do all he could for residents and described himself as a pleaser. 

He offered some words of wisdom for future councillors.

“My advice to council is follow your bylaws and stick with them,” he said.

Mayor Gordon's adivce to Bernard was to put his health first.

Wallace-Flynn said she enjoyed the work and will miss it.

“I’ve attended 808 regular and special council meetings, and never missed a meeting and I’m retiring,” Wallace-Flynn said, summing up her career with the town. 

“I’m looking forward to spending more time with my husband and my dog. And running.”

She is passionate about running and gardening and will have more time to commit to both, but knows she will miss the work, the residents and the audit.

The audit?

“I loved it,” she said of one of the financial obligations the job of administrator entails.

Mayor Gordon said the town will be preparing job description for the position of chief administrative officer to post with the job opening. 

The mayor is waiting to hear back from Elections P.E.I about getting the byelection process started to replace the three councillors. 

In the meantime, it’s business as usual. Council can still conduct meetings provided he and the three remaining councillors are in attendance.

“We’ll be alright,” Gordon said.


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