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UPDATE: Peter Kelly now a permanent employee of City of Charlottetown

Peter Kelly
Peter Kelly

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Peter Kelly is now Charlottetown’s permanent chief administrative officer, with an asterisk.

The city issued a news release on Thursday stating that city council was lifting his probationary status, put in place due to an ongoing review of a controversial land deal in Alberta that occurred while Kelly was serving as CAO in Westlock County.

In giving Kelly permanent status, council made it clear that should he be convicted of being in violation of any law, his employment status would be reviewed.

“It’s in the contract, that we have the option to open it up again and say, ‘Maybe your contract is not going to be going forward’. We have that option,’’ said Coun. Terry MacLeod, chairman of the city’s human resources committee.

“He’s been told that and he understands that. That was made quite clear and he was quite understanding of that as well.’’

But MacLeod said he and council are thrilled with the job Kelly has done this past year in Charlottetown, and decided to lift the probationary status, effective May 24.

“Council just felt, at the end of the day, he was doing such a good job, that it’s unfair to keep a guy hanging,’’ MacLeod said. (Council are) very confident things are going to work out (in Alberta) and we’ll be moving forward.’’

The Guardian made repeated requests on Wednesday to City Hall to talk to Mayor Clifford Lee and Kelly about his probationary status, which had expired a month ago. Neither was available to comment. A press release was then issued on Thursday but Lee and Kelly were still not available to comment.

Related: Charlottetown CAO Peter Kelly’s probation ends, city quiet on status 

In the press release, Lee credits Kelly with helping the city mitigate a projected deficit of $1.5 million and start 2017 with a balanced budget.

“He has helped us find efficiencies, improve revenues and fill vacancies,’’ Lee said. “Because of his performance over the past 12 months and the successes achieved during that time, council felt it was only fair to make him a permanent employee.’’

MacLeod said each member of council completed individual performance evaluations of Kelly and collectively decided to make him a permanent employee on May 24.

“We took the scores of all the evaluations and it came out very, very, very favourable.’’

POLL: Do you agree with the city's decision to make Peter Kelly a permanent employee?  

MacLeod said Kelly has already met with Strategic Steps in Alberta, the independent third party conducting the review.

The Westlock News reported last year that Kelly left the Alberta town with an outstanding $200,000 bill. A report on the matter is expected to be delivered to the Alberta government in July.

MacLeod said Kelly isn’t the sole focus of the review.

“It’s not just Peter being reviewed, it’s a 10-year look into the past of that council as a whole. They’re doing a complete review of the situation out there.’’

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

Peter Kelly timeline

1985 - Elected town councillor in Bedford, N.S.

1991-96 - Elected mayor and CEO of the Town of Bedford

2000-12 - Elected mayor of Halifax

2014-16 - Served as chief administrative officer of Westlock County in Alberta

May 2016 - Appointed CAO in Charlottetown

May 2016 - Placed on six months probation

November 2016 - Probation extended six months

May 24, 2017 - Employment status changed to permanent

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