The new year will mark the beginning of a new chapter for Niagara-on-the-Lake’s top bureaucrat.
Chief administrative officer Marnie Cluckie is stepping down from her role as of Jan. 14, the town announced Monday.
While the town didn’t say where she is going, an almost simultaneous announcement by Hamilton Mayor Andrea Horwath said Cluckie was becoming the Steel City’s new chief administrator and city manager.
In selecting Cluckie for the job, Horwath utilized the so-called “strong mayor” powers given to the heads of some Ontario municipalities.
Cluckie previously worked for the city from 2005 to 2015.
NOTL council plans to select an interim chief administrator soon and begin the process of recruiting a permanent CAO in the coming weeks.
That process typically can take several months.
The outgoing chief administrator was not available for interviews.
Cluckie has been NOTL’s chief administrator since December 2020, when she was hired to replace Holly Dowd, who retired in 2019.
The position had been filled temporarily by Sheldon Randall, who was the town’s director of operations at the time. He has since retired.
During her tenure, Cluckie helped council with its 2022-27 strategic plan and oversaw numerous modernization and digitization projects, improved transparency and intergovernmental advocacy, the town’s statement said.
Cluckie said it was an “incredible honour” to serve the Niagara-on-the-Lake community “alongside a remarkably talented and dedicated team.”
“I extend my sincere gratitude to my colleagues on the senior leadership team and the entire Niagara-on-the-Lake staff for their tireless commitment to service delivery excellence,” she said.
Lord Mayor Gary Zalepa said council was “grateful” for Cluckie’s efforts to move the town forward.
“Marnie’s unique ability to bring people together for a common purpose, her visionary leadership and tireless work ethic have had a positive and lasting impact on the community,” Zalepa said.
Cluckie began with the town at a time when the world was coping with an unprecedented pandemic, the statement noted.
She steered the Niagara-on-the-Lake staff in its response and recovery to ensure residents continued to receive critical services while taking steps to improve communication and service delivery, the town said.
Cluckie previously held senior administrative positions with Halton Region and Niagara Region.