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Niagara Falls
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Clerk leaving NOTL after six months on the job
Town clerk Ralph Walton is leaving after six months on the job. Lord Mayor Betty Disero said her first question to town staff was whether there is anything to worry about. She said staff shortages are a problem across Ontario's municipalities. Evan Saunders

Ralph Walton, clerk for the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, has resigned after six months on the job.

Lord Mayor Betty Disero confirmed Walton’s last day would be July 14.

Disero said she could not comment on why Walton is leaving.

She said town council would be having an in-depth discussion about staffing issues in NOTL and at municipalities all over the province on July 18, during an in-camera session not viewable by the public.

“The only thing I was told is that he was leaving,” Disero said during an interview on July 12.

“I asked if there was anything I needed to worry about at this point and I was told no.”

She said chief administrator Marnie Cluckie told her the town has a plan to address staffing shortages next week with council.

“Every municipality is struggling to try and keep staff and hire staff. We are not exempt from that,” said Disero.

Cluckie said Walton resigned from the town and was not let go, in an email to The Lake Report.

“The town is not able to disclose personal details regarding staff or their decisions,” Cluckie said.
“The town extends its gratitude to Ralph for his contributions to the organization. Ralph has been critical in preparing for and ensuring the town is on track for a successful 2022 election,” she added.
“The town has been fortunate to have benefitted from Ralph’s professionalism, knowledge, and wide range of municipal experience.”
In his short time at the town, Cluckie said Walton made an impact.
“He championed the clerks and bylaw enforcement division with intentionality, care and professionalism. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with him. I wish Ralph all the best in the future.”

Rumours swirled last week about Walton’s exit. The matter was made clear when the agenda for a special committee of the whole meeting was released over the weekend. The agenda for the meeting listed one item: the appointment of a town clerk.

The document also specified that Ralph Walton had delegated duties of the clerk to Cluckie for the meeting.

During a committee of the whole planning meeting on July 11, Disero’s assistant Victoria Steele served as clerk. There was no mention of Walton during the meeting.

Walton started with the town in February and brought with him a wealth of experience in municipal management. He had previously been the clerk for the Region of Durham and the Region of Niagara.

He has served in various other roles in municipal governments for more than two decades.

Walton did not respond to requests for comment by publication time.

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