After paying a consulting firm nearly $16,000 to find a new chief administrative officer it turns out the Township of Wellesley didn’t have to look far for their man.
Rik Louwagie, the township’s chief building official since 2008, took over the role of top bureaucrat Monday.
Louwagie will work double duty, maintaining his position as CBO during the nine-month probation period.
“After a rigorous interview process, which started with 44 applications, Mr. Louwagie stood head and shoulders above the rest,” Mayor Joe Nowak said. “From my perspective Rik Louwagie was the only candidate that understood the challenges facing Wellesley Township and more importantly, had a reasonable plan to address those challenges. Rik Louwagie has what I believe to be the most essential quality for a successful CAO, he has the ability to be both firm and fair when dealing with staff and council.”
Louwagie takes over from interim CAO Kevin Beggs, the township’s general manager of community services, who stepped in after Willis McLaughlin retired in December.
The recruitment process began last summer, when the previous iteration of council decided to hire Ward & Uptigrove Consulting and Human Resources to seek applicants for the position.
The decision was controversial, with former Mayor Ross Kelterborn and Ward 4 Coun. Paul Hergott arguing in favour of conducting the search in-house. Councillors Shelley Wagner, Herb Neher and Jim Olender voted in favour of paying an outside firm for assistance.