MINDEN HILLS, ON – The county is giving some thought to hiring a contractor to look at its shared services and governance.

County CAO Mike Rutter brought a resolution to the county table asking for support to move forward with the review looking at service delivery at both the county and municipal levels.

Rutter offered background information saying that back in June county council instructed him and his municipal counterparts to develop a draft process for a governance review.

Earlier this month, the CAO’s met with Micheal Fenn, who is a Dysart resident that was in charge of regional reviews for the Ontario government. Rutter explained that the idea was to pick his brain on the best practices going forward.

According to Rutter, the conversation with Fenn led to a list of suggestions that could be considered best practices some of which gratified the CAOs says Rutter, noting that they were working towards some of his suggestions already.

After meeting with Fenn, the collective thought was to propose the contracting of a third party person to handle shared services and governance review.

If the county does decide to go forward with it, Rutter says the CAO’s will be involved and managing the process but they won’t be doing the leg work so the review remains objective. He also says throughout the process they’d be checking in and monitoring the status of it.

In terms of the financial impact of this review, Rutter noted that it is hard to say exactly how much it would cost but $150,000 would be a “conservative” guess. Another thing that Rutter asked the county councillors to consider was the fact that a process like this would take considerable time.

Speaking to the idea of moving forward with this process, Dysart Mayor Andrea Roberts noted that there is a fair amount of people that suggest the amalgamation of governments would be the most efficient solution for the county. An idea that is always met with contention, in a previous council meeting, Warden Liz Danielson believes there is a misconception that creating a single government would lead to cost savings.

Amalgamation being the combined of all five governments into a single entity as opposed to five.

Minden Hills Deputy Mayor Lisa Schell stated that she felt they owe it to the ratepayers to get answers.

The decision was put off until Friday of next week.