Director retires as head of public works

 In News

After 27 years with the Township of Clearview, Mike Rawn is retiring this month.

Since 2019, Rawn has been Director of Public Works for the largest department in the municipality overseeing roads, bridges, water, wastewater management amongst other things.

Five months ago, when doctors ordered a Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) test as part of a routine physical to renew his DZ licence, an anomaly was detected which led to the early detection of colon cancer. The cancer was quickly removed and he has been undergoing treatment.

The diagnosis did influence his decision to retire, but it was not an easy decision.

“I love this job,” said Rawn. “The people in this office have helped me immensely. Many people have helped me along the way.”

Right of out high school, Rawn got a job as a labourer at Arnott Construction where he gained experience working in utilities and then with water and sewers and some snow removal. That experience got him a job driving a snowplow for the County of Simcoe and in 1997 he was hired on at Clearview Township as a water/sewer operator.

“And then Walkerton happened,” said Rawn.

By April of 2001 he was superintendent of water/ sewer just as stringent regulations were being implemented to secure water quality and avoid another tragedy.

“I needed all the help in the world,” said Rawn, who recalls the municipality had to take over the operation of two private water systems.

He said changes were coming fast and furious. He remembers the implementation of technological advancements to monitor and safeguard water systems. When he started his career nothing was computerized and now all systems are monitored on iPads.

“People should feel comfortable in the safety of their drinking water,” said Rawn.

Over the years Rawn worked toward a Certified Engineering Technologist designation, amongst others, and was the fist person at Clearview to get their water licenses.

In 2019, the department was restructured and Rawn became director of the public works department.

He said part of his job has been to prepare the township for growth and although plans are in place, there is a current lull in development due to a lack of financing options for servicing.

For a decade, Rawn has enjoyed being a trainer at the Walkerton Clean Water Centre, which coordinates and provides education, training and information to drinking water system owners, operators and operating authorities, and the public, in order to safeguard Ontario’s drinking water.

In his spare time he plans to teach more courses – and make dinner for his wife Trish more often.

“I’d like to thank past and present staff and councillors for making my job easy,” said Rawn. “It gave me opportunities that I wouldn’t have had in other places and I really appreciate it.”

The role of director will be filled by Dan Perreault, who is currently in the role of deputy director.

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