Councillor Doug Conley was elected the new Chair, and Councillor Susan Fielding elected Vice Chair of the Hamilton Conservation Authority board during its February 1 annual meeting.
City Councillor for Ward 9, Conley was appointed as a Hamilton City Council representative to the HCA Board of Directors in 2015. He had also previously served for three years on the board while councillor for the former City of Stoney Creek. A resident of Upper Stoney Creek for the past 36 years, his interest in local politics started as a school trustee for the Hamilton-Wentworth County School Board. From 1991-2000, Conley served as Councillor for the City of Stoney Creek. Councillor Conley also worked for 25 years in the private sector as international sales manager and the director of sales and marketing with O'Hara Technologies Inc. As City Councillor, he sits on many committees and sub committees, including the Board of Health, Public Works and Planning Committees, Red Hill Valley Joint Stewardship, Business Improvement Areas and Hamilton Water Sub-Committees as well as the Heritage Green Community Trust.
Councillor Susan Fielding, the Puslinch representative to the Board, was elected the new Vice Chair. The Vice Chair automatically assumes the chair of HCA's Budget and Administration committee. Fielding is in her fourth term as councillor for Puslinch, serving for 15 years and chairing committees such as Recreation, Audit, Planning Advisory and Fire and Rescue. She is also a member of several volunteer groups including Director of the Friends of Mill Creek and Green Legacy, a group that is fighting climate change by planting over 1 million trees in Wellington County. Before her election to council, Fielding had a long career in Educational Services at McMaster University and was also a Community Editorial Columnist at the Guelph Mercury.
Maria Topalovic was also re-elected as Chair of the Conservation Advisory Board (CAB). A citizen member of the HCA’s Board of Directors since 2011, Topalovic was first elected Chair of the CAB in 2012 and has been re-elected five times. Topalovic received a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering & Management and a Master of Engineering & Public Policy from McMaster University, where she focused her studies on healthy communities and complete streets. She is now an Environment Manager at CRH Canada with experience in sustainability awareness, environmental compliance, community and stakeholder engagement, and policy analysis
Other members elected to the Budget & Administration committee were Dan Bowman, Santina Moccio and Councillor Lloyd Ferguson.