Muskoka Lakes director of planning retires
MUSKOKA LAKES - Another staff member in Muskoka Lakes is moving on.
Stephen Fahner, the former director of planning for Muskoka Lakes, is the third senior staff along with the assistant fire chief to leave his position in a matter of months.
Fahner was offered an early retirement, which was announced on Tuesday, July 24.
“It’s the kind of thing that was certainly in the back of my mind for some time, but I didn’t really know how the timing was going to work out,” said Fahner.
He is retiring after 24 years with the township, which saw the township create its own official plan and make many amendments and improvements to its comprehensive zoning bylaw.
“We have other bylaws that have been done, such as tree preservation bylaws and site alteration bylaw — which I know the province is actually using our bylaws in those cases as models for other municipalities throughout the province,” said Fahner.
A press release sent out by the township said he had earned the respect of his colleagues throughout Muskoka.
“Steve guided the day-to-day operations of the department and spearheaded significant planning projects, such as the Waterfront Density Initiative and the Official Plan update,” the release said.
Fahner is currently on vacation, but he plans on working in the municipal planning field again, possibly in Haliburton, the Kawarthas or Collingwood.
“Whether that be OMB hearings or policy matters,” he said.
He’s not planning on moving from Bracebridge.
David Pink, the township’s senior planner, will be filling in Fahner’s position during their search for a new employee.
Muskoka Lakes Mayor Alice Murphy said the transition from a township and service delivery perspective will be seamless.
“It will provide us with an opportunity to look at roles, process and efficiencies,’ said Murphy.
Murphy said whether they change the position or find someone to fill the current planning position will be determined once they begin interviewing and looking at their alternatives.
“We’re in a unique position right now where we have extraordinary change, but we also have opportunity,” said Murphy.
Fahner said it has been a great 24 years.
“I enjoyed the people that I worked with and I certainly saw quite a number of different councils and different management styles, but I think over that time a lot was accomplished,” Fahner said.