Rietdyk retires from C-K

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April Rietdyk

By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

One of Chatham-Kent’s most enduring leaders is retiring.

Dr. April Rietdyk, general manager of community human services, attended her last council meeting Dec. 11.

Rietdyk, who served the municipality for 27 years, received warm praise and a standing ovation from around the council horseshoe.

In his remarks on behalf of council, Mayor Darrin Canniff told Rietdyk, she commanded a lot of respect during her career with Chatham-Kent.

“It’s been a privilege and an honour for myself, and I’ll speak for all of council. I want to thank you so much for your service to the municipality, what you’ve done for Chatham-Kent,” Canniff said. “Chatham-Kent is a better place because of everything you’ve done over the last 27 years of your career here.”

On behalf of senior staff, CAO Michael Duben thanked Rietdyk for her dedication, for helping C-K navigate the pandemic and for always putting people first.

“You can count on April to talk about care and comfort, ” Duben said. “That was always paramount in what she does. I think it rubbed off on everybody.

“She’s an excellent leader and an incredible source of knowledge, he added. “Throughout her career she’s provided some extraordinary leadership and guidance in some very difficult times. You’re one of the most dedicated and professional civil servants I’ve ever worked with.”

Rietdyk said picking the moment to retire brought mixed emotions.

“Chatham-Kent is a great place,” Rietdyk said. “It is a great place to work. We have wonderful staff. We have wonderful community partners.”

She also urged municipal leaders to keep people at the forefront of their decision making.

“Never forget that people matter,” Rietdyk said. “People that we serve…the people that we work with…the people that we have good times and bad times with. That is what makes Chatham-Kent tick. I am honoured and proud to have been part of that for many, many years.”

Reitdyk has worked in the health and social service sector for 39 years.

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