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Long Service Recognition Awards

Long service recognition awards are presented annually to OMAA members in honour of their years of service in the role oof Chief Administrative Officer or equivalent head administrator title. The first milestone year recognized is 5 years.  Awards then progress in incremental years of five i.e. 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years of service as a CAO. Service doesn't have to be continuous, nor does it have to be all in one municipality.

Members self-nominate and are recognized at one of the annual banquets during their anniversary year. CAOs receiving a 25 or 30-year service recognition award are also honoured with a presentation at their Council, if desired.

A retirement gift is awarded to OMAA members upon their retirement from municipal service. Members must have been a head municipal administrator for at least 10 years and an active member of OMAA for a minimum of five years. Members self-nominate for this award.

The Robert Baldwin Award

The Robert Baldwin Award is Ontario's highest award for municipal public service, created by OMAA in the early 1990s. Winners must demonstrate significant and lasting contributions to municipal and local government in Ontario and service to the community, the province and the country.

The award was inspired by the achievements of Robert Baldwin, a principled political figure active in the mid-1800s. Baldwin embodied the values of OMAA. He wrote the first Municipal Act, supported religious tolerance and women's rights, was one of the first proponents of a bicultural nation and popularized the idea of "responsible government".

The Robert Baldwin Award is presented when suitable candidates are identified. Nominations are accepted by a subcommittee appointed by the OMAA President, with the name of the selected candidate tabled for Board approval.

Past Robert Baldwin Award winners are:

  • Bedford Ball - 1994
  • C.T. (Cy) Armstrong, CAO City of St Catharines - 1995
  • Alan O'Brien - 1996
  • Bob Foulds - 1997
  • Richard Tindal - 1998
  • Thomas Plunkett - 2000
  • Hugh Thomas, CAO City of Chatham - 2001
  • Michael Smither - 2002
  • John E. Fleming, Deputy Minister - 2004
  • W. Michael Fenn, Deputy Minister - 2006
  • Hazel McCallion, City of Mississauga - 2008
  • John Burke, Deputy Minister - 2011
  • Tim Dobbie - 2016

Honourary Membership

OMAA has been served well by the following dedicated Members who have contributed so much to the success of the Association and in turn recognized with Honourary Membership status.  

  • Bryan Baxter
  • Merv Beckstead
  • Tim Dobbie
  • Michael Fenn
  • John Fleming
  • Bob Foulds
  • Lyle Love
  • Ken Needham
  • Bill Rice
  • Milt Sather
  • Hugh Thomas
  • Virginia West

The OMAA Bursary Program

It is the desire of the OMAA Board of Directors to promote good governance at the municipal government level. One such supporting element is to ensure skilled and experienced leadership exists amongst municipal bureaucrats. In turn, the sector requires a continued assimilation of young people to bring energy and new views that contribute to sound management, and indeed good governance.

In 2015, OMAA has established a 10 year Bursary program offering $5,000 annually to reflect its interest in contributing to the education of future municipal government leaders. The intention of the "OMAA Bursary" is to:

  • Raise the profile regarding the benefits of municipal careers
  • Promote the profession of CAO
  • Provide an opportunity for OMAA Members to assist students interested in a local government future with the financing of their schooling

Download a copy of the OMAA Bursary Brochure for further details about the program and application criteria