Jayne Jagelewski resigns as director of community services at Saugeen Shores


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After 27 years in local municipal government – most recently as director of community services – Jayne Jagelewski resigned from the Town of Saugeen Shores to take a new position on October 25 with the Municipality of Kincardine.

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Jagelewski looked at his nearly three decades at Saugeen Shores in response to questions submitted.

Question: Where are you from and what was your first job here?

NOT A WORD : I started in November 1994 as a programmer for the town of Port Elgin. I was on staff when we moved to Saugeen Shores and all the variables we inherited as we worked through this change. It was interesting times. At first I was only three days a week and at that time my office was shared with a small dining room. I got to know the majority of the staff at lunch as they came to have lunch and chat.
Prior to this role, I was hired by Gord and Anne MacKay as Recreation Director at Lakeshore Recreation for two years. They were fun years and really introduced me to Port Elgin.

Question: Is it fair to say that you rose through the ranks for almost three decades to the top spot?

NOT A WORD : There have always been opportunities for me to grow within the Municipality, and I will be eternally grateful to the CEOs and Directors who recognized my skills and enthusiasm for success.
These days it’s unheard of to hold a job for more than seven years, but there were constant changes.
I went through five organizational reviews, worked for two recreation departments and five general managers. I can’t honestly say how many board members I have worked with, but I certainly have fond memories of those who showed great respect and admiration for the staff.

Question: When did you become director?

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NOT A WORD : I became Director of Community Services in 2011 when Mike Myatt (now Deputy Deputy Mayor) retired.

What comes to mind is that this was the same week that Marine Heritage had the new Peerless delivered and I drove to the port to take the grand tour. I remember the municipality funding the ship for 10 years and I thought about all the great things that would happen in the community over the next 10 years and I was delighted to be a part of it.

Question: What has been your biggest accomplishment at Saugeen Shores?

NOT A WORD : I wouldn’t say I had major accomplishments, as all of our accomplishments have been a team approach. I couldn’t name just one, but becoming a manager was definitely a highlight.
However, I have always surrounded myself with strong, solid staff, which has always made my job lighter. Last year, the Board chose me as interim CEO. A challenge that I accepted wholeheartedly while continuing my role as director of community services. I have always viewed myself as an approachable leader, not only by Community Services staff but also by any staff member in the company and my door has always been open for conversation and catching up.

Question: What are the highlights of your career here?

NOT A WORD : There have been many highlights that have occurred, all with the help of our strong Community Services team. Together the team completed the installation of the playground equipment, the new ground floor facility at Southampton Coliseum which will extend the age of the facility, the new beach house at the main beach from Port Elgin, lookouts along the North Shore Trail, new wharves at the harbor Port of Elgin, extension of the boardwalk with lighting, ongoing upgrades to all facilities to ensure continued sustainability, area master plan waterfront, the recreation master plan and the Lamont sports park to name a few.

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Question: What / what are you going to miss?

JJ: A lot of people when asked these questions will say people, and I would be no different. They are not work colleagues; the people who work for the town of Saugeen Shores have become my family and friends. We have been through many ups and downs, not only professionally but also personally, and we have always supported each other throughout these journeys. Late night chat in the halls after a board meeting or catching up after a weekend are all aspects that I will miss.

Question: What you won’t miss?

NOT A WORD : Ha! Late night meetings, however, are an integral part of a public servant’s life. I used to say that a good family outing was taking your family to a park opening and making the long way back to check on the condition of a washed out trail. These are all aspects that I will probably never get out of my blood.

Question: Why are you resigning now, in light of the great parks and recreation initiatives Saugeen Shores has on the horizon?

NOT A WORD : There will always be big projects on the horizon. Once one is finished, another is started.

I leave knowing that I am leaving the ministry in a good position to build on the many plans that we have in place and to provide these people with opportunities to grow, just as I had the opportunity to grow. I know I can put my skills and expertise to work in my new role. Saugeen Shores has always been considered a leader in municipal recreation in Southwestern Ontario, and it’s not down to one person or one project. It is acquired through the commitment, collaboration and loyalty of employees to do their best on a daily basis.

Question: Kincardine has created the new Director of Community Services position for you. What do you hope to accomplish there?

NOT A WORD : I hope to build on what Kincardine already has by transferring my skills and expertise and developing a dynamic new leisure team. I look forward to a new challenge and all that it can bring.

Requests for comment from the Town of Saugeen Shores on Jagelewski’s resignation were not returned at press time.

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