Here’s A News Flash – The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, Once Again, Hires One Of Its Own – Wait A Minute. Isn’t This A Public Body and Where Is The Accountability?

By Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Now it is official.

The NPCA's Conservation Centre at Balls Falls, Photo by Doug Draper

The NPCA’s Conservation Centre at Balls Falls, Photo by Doug Draper

Thirteen days after the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s board of directors held a special April 24th closed session to decide on a new chief administrative officer for the 45-year-old agency, and 12 days it released a scolding media release that a report in local newspapers that Carmen D’Angelo, a fellow former board member, had been chosen for the job, the agency has announced that the new CAO is indeed Carmen D’Angelo.

D’Angelo, who has served on NPCA’s board for the Hamilton area of a sprawling Niagara watershed the agency has some jurisdiction over, and who has also taken a leave from that board in recent times to function as a consultant for the NPCA’s strategic planning and restructuring efforts for yet-to-be-disclosed amounts of public money, has a management and working background in the field of paramedics.

D’Angelo is at least the second individual since who served on the NPCA board to land an executive position on the Conservation Authority’s staff since late last year. Dave Barrick, a former board member and a current, first-term Niagara regional councillor for Port Colborne, was awarded a senior staff position titled ‘operations manager’, without any advertising for that job that had been held by Darcy Baker, a person who was respected by many in Niagara in his capacity in that position.

Earlier this year, Cindy Forster, the MPP for the Niagara, Ontario riding of Welland, rose in the provincial legislature and asked about the high level of dismissals of staff members like Darcy Baker from the NPCA. Her response from the government was that the NPCA is a municipal responsibility.

Interestingly, when I interviewed NPCA chair Bruce Timms and others in this agency in recent weeks, they turn around and say the agency is a provincial responsibility, which leaves one wondering who is accountable here for an NPCA that controls more than $12 million per year of our tax money.

At any rate, let NAL leave you with this announcement below for now, welcoming D’Angelo in as the NPCA’s new CAO.

NPCA Announces Carmelo D’Angelo Appointed as Chief Administrative Officer

May 6th, 2014

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Carmelo (Carmen) D’Angelo to the positions of Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and Secretary-Treasurer. Mr. D’Angelo’s appointment comes after a comprehensive and lengthy executive search process.

Mr. D’Angelo brings to the NPCA a wealth of senior management experience having served in leadership roles throughout progressive organizations in Ontario. In addition to his leadership experience, D’Angelo has a strong academic foundation with two undergraduate degrees from McMaster University and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Western Ontario.

“Mr. D’Angelo will join the senior leadership team, bringing with him his skills as an accomplished administrator and proven leader”, stated Bruce Timms, Chair of the NPCA Board of Directors. “His vision and guidance will energize the organization through his shared passion for environmental stewardship. The NPCA is comprised of many diverse professions, such as; ecologists, foresters, engineers, and certified planners. His determination for organizational excellence will help the NPCA to deliver on its mission; to manage the watershed’s natural resources by balancing environmental, community, and economic needs.”, Timms added.

Mr. D’Angelo has previously demonstrated a commitment to community engagement and collaborative outreach between the NPCA, area municipalities, and community groups. Timms noted, “He is recognized as a relationship builder with strong people, communication and financial management skills. In partnership with our talented team, he will continue to build a healthier watershed to be enjoyed today and by future generations.”

According to Andy Fevez, Chairman of the Glanbrook Conservation Committee, “We look forward to working with Carmen on a variety of our conservation and restoration programs. His commitment to the environment will enable us to continue our strong partnership with the NPCA and the implementation of the many volunteer projects of the Glanbrook Conservation Committee.”

Member of the Welland River Floodplain Association, Mr. Norm Johnson, is pleased with the appointment of Mr. D’Angelo as the next CAO of the NPCA. “Carmen has demonstrated his willingness to work collaboratively and in consultation with community groups such as the Welland River Floodplain Association. We are confident Carmen will bring greater transparency and accountability to the administrative processes at the NPCA”, says Johnson, “This is extremely important when the NPCA operates in a regulatory framework which impacts landowners.”

Established on April 30, 1959 under the Conservation Authorities Act, The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s watershed boundary encompasses over 2,400 km² consisting of the entire Region of Niagara, 21% of the City of Hamilton and 25% of Haldimand County. This includes over 7,200 acres in 37 conservation areas throughout the watershed. The Mission of the NPCA is “To manage our watershed’s natural resources by balancing environmental, community and economic needs.”

Click here for a related story from Niagara At Largege – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2014/03/19/mass-firings-at-niagara-peninsula-conservation-authority-raised-at-queens-park-many-are-worried-that-the-npca-is-diverting-away-from-its-mandate/ .

(NOW IT IS YOUR TURN. Niagara At Large encourages you to share your views on this post. A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who share their first and last name with them.)

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