Highlands East continues to work on doctor recruitment  

By Sue Tiffin

The following are brief reports of items discussed at the Jan. 14 meeting of Highlands East council.

The municipality of Highlands East and County of Hastings might still work together to bring a doctor to the area through a joint recruiting project despite a previous recruit not working out.

The two municipalities entered into a Doctor Recruitment Cooperation Agreement in April 2013 agreeing to provide financial assistance to a medical student in order to attract the student to then practice medicine on a shared basis in the Municipality of Highlands East and in the County of Hastings after their graduation from medical school.

A student had entered into agreement with the municipality and county but later was “unable to fulfill her obligation and returned her financial assistance” according to a report to council by Shannon Hunter Highlands East CAO/treasurer.

“The County of Hastings has reached out to us seeking interest on continuing with a joint agreement” Hunter told council in her report. “If we wish to continue an amendment to the original agreement would be required as Hastings County has since reduced its incentive from $150000 over six years to $100000 over five years.” Both Hastings County and Highlands East would contribute $10000 per year.

“I think the fact that this one didn’t work out doesn’t change the fact that we still have a problem” said Deputy Mayor Cec Ryall and asked if the municipality had spoken to Cheryl Kennedy who joined the county as a physician recruiter last year.

Hunter said she and Mayor Dave Burton had met with Kennedy twice to discuss ideas with her and provide information about what was required in Highlands East.

The report was accepted by council for information only.

Bylaw enforcement officer Wayne Galloway introduced and welcomed Kristen Boylan as a bylaw enforcement officer to the department. Boylan has worked as municipal law enforcement officer with Dysart et al for the past three years.

Boylan has been a full-time resident of Haliburton County for the past 12 years and a seasonal resident of Highlands East prior to that. She has an extensive background in the law and security field working as an auxiliary police officer with the Owen Sound police service and as a nuclear security officer with Bruce Power. Galloway said Boylan is studying to become a certified municipal law enforcement officer.

“Kristen is an outgoing individual that enjoys liaising with members of the community she serves” he said.

“Currently we are accepting public input regarding restrictions or a total ban of fireworks through the municipal website” he said noting he has received some input from cottage association groups and through the website to date.