Ex-Regional CAO Merv Beckstead ‘Has Been Missed’

Former senior city employee Howard Williamson comments on the sad passing of the former CAO of the Regional Municipality of Ottawa Carleton Merv Beckstead:

I worked first for former mayor Jim Durrell many years ago and later in Ottawa as a consultant for many years after that.

I am now retired and living in southern Ontario. An old friend let me know yesterday about the passing of Merv. During my web search this morning, I came across your posting and felt compelled to respond to your nice comments.

I dealt with Merv on myriad issues over the years when he was at the City of  Nepean and then the Regional Municipality of Ottawa Carleton. I cannot agree with you more about his ability to get things done, but more importantly his integrity and sense of responsibility.


Like you, I believe that had Merv been at the helm of the City of Ottawa recently, we would never have seen the kinds of abuse and mismanagement that we have seen over the past decade or so. He was a funny and competent leader and he has been missed.

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3 Responses

  1. The Voter says:

    We won’t see his like again, I fear. Besides being incredibly competent at what he did, he was a thoroughly nice guy – he didn’t have a mean bone in his body. Today’s politicians and bureaucrats could take a few lessons for him.

  2. Clarence Dungey says:

    It is with my deepest sympathy that I offer my condolences to Merv’s family. My time working with Merv began in Sault Ste. Marie as a CUPE National Representative, and again, later, in Ottawa at the former RMOC and City of Nepean. From Day One, I recognized that there never was a time that unionized employees benifited more from his ability in the managment of human resources. Merv improved the general day-to-day services and any emergencies that arose. During that process, we came to know each other and enjoyed a mutual respect, along with the rest of the management team. I am sure I can speak for myself and other municipal employees, managers, and elected officials who will miss him for the person that he was and the contributions he has made within the municipal world.

  3. Ken Gray says:

    Very well said, Mr. Dungey.

    Interesting that the reporter for the Ottawa Citizen who covered the municipal government at the time and union officials have such fine things to say about Beckstead.

    Normally, those people would be adversarial toward a person in Beckstead’s position.

    They are not and that speaks highly for the former top municipal public servant in Ottawa at the time.

    kgray

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