It’s been almost 12 years since Dan Kennaley took on his role as Director of Engineering and Planning Services in Woolwich Township
And it’s one that he is grateful for as he prepares for retirement on June 28.
“I’ve worked with a great team of people and that’s always the toughest, leaving the people behind,” Kennaley says.
“It’s a great team, all across the board from our administration staff to the operations staff. It really is about the people.”
For Kennaley, it too is especially important to keep the “rural” in smaller communities within Waterloo Region.
“I’ve always had an affinity for rural areas and I’ve spent most of my time working there,” Kennaley said.
“In Woolwich Township, we are still predominantly rural and agriculture is very important. I’ve always enjoyed the Mennonite cultural overlay. We do have newish aspects and we are seeing more urban type development. This has been good and interesting, but our official plan is to keep the area predominantly rural – a community of communities – keeping the idea of community front and centre. And this is why Woolwich is such a great place to live.”
Kennaley is remembered for his relentless work in preserving the community.
“We will miss Dan’s concern for balancing environmental and historical issues with sound planning principles during his time in Woolwich and we wish him all the best in his retirement,” said Sandy Shantz, Mayor of Woolwich.
When it came to gravel pits, Kennaley was front and centre.
“I’m very proud of what I’ve done regarding gravel pits. I worked in Caledon before coming here and I helped make policies for gravel pits there. I came here and there were six applications for gravel pits,” Kennaley said.
“So, it was obvious that new policies were needed so I was able to parachute policies from Caledon to Woolwich and I’m very proud of these policies as well as developing the cultural heritage landscape policies for West Montrose.”
Kennaley grew up in Brantford, Ontario. He attended the University of Waterloo where he received a degree in Recreation and then went on to the University of Guelph where he completed a Masters degree in Rural Planning.
With years in the field, Kennaley has seen many changes in the region.
“In terms of change, we have seen much in Elmira and in Breslau and that is continuing. In Breslau, the rate of growth is increasing but we developed a good settlement for Breslau that has paved the way for the community with staging policies,” Kennaley said.
“This is so people can absorb growth in a reasonable fashion.”
Kennaley, an avid fly fisherman, is now getting his R.V. ready as he and his wife prepare for a trip to the Rocky Mountains.
“I am looking forward to a break from planning but I will miss the team and council members,” he said.
“Woolwich is a great place to live with great people and the community plan will guide the community’s needs. We value what makes this a good community. That’s what makes it a great place to work, live and play.”