County bids farewell to long-time CAO

by Vance Gutzman

County council chambers were jam-packed last week for a very special send-off.

Not for elected officials facing re-election, but for Jim Hutton, the County of Renfrew’s chief administrative officer (CAO).

Hutton, who announced his retirement last spring, was feted by colleagues and municipal politicians past and present as he bid farewell to a career at the county that spanned three decades.

Hutton started his career at the county in 1987 as a planning technician, then worked for two years in Bruce County before returning to the county in 1991 as a land use planner.

Between 1991 and 2018, Hutton held several other positions, including economic development officer, manager of planning and forestry, and director of development and property.

He became the county’s chief administrative officer in 2010, following the retirement of Norm Lemke.

Lemke, a long-time CAO himself, was one of many familiar faces in the council chambers for the occasion.

Others included Lemke’s predecessor, Michael Johnson, another long-time CAO of the county, and Jack Wilson, the former mayor of Laurentian Valley, who put new meaning into the words “long-serving” after having served in municipal politics for more than 50 years until his retirement in 2014.

David Anderson, who retired from the county after having served as its director of development and property and director of social services, was also in the chambers, as was the equally retired Jim Kutschke, the county’s long-time treasurer.

“It’s a testament to your career and legacy,” Paul Moreau told Hutton of all the people who were gathered for his retirement.

 > for the full story, pick up a copy of the Oct. 3 NRT…