Julie Stevens Appointment As The New CAO For The District Of Muskoka


District Chair John Klinck is pleased to announce on behalf of District Council the appointment of Julie Stevens as Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the District Municipality of Muskoka (District) effective September 28, 2020. Stevens replaces CAO Michael Duben following his resignation earlier in June to take on the role of CAO for Oxford County.

This appointment sees Julie advance from her current role as Commissioner of Finance and Corporate Services (FCS) at the District. Over the last seven years Julie has developed a comprehensive knowledge of the District’s business to advise Council on their strategic priorities. She has fostered relationships with Area Municipal Partners with the goal of providing excellent services for our community. Julie has been actively involved in several broader municipal groups including past president of the Municipal Finance Officers Association (MFOA) and ONE Investment Board. Her tenure at the District has developed credibility and trust with District Council, District Strategic Leadership Team, and with Area Municipal Partners.

A Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) with a Bachelor of Commerce Honours from Queen’s University, Stevens has served as a senior executive, mentor and coach throughout her career. She transitioned from the private to the public sector by serving as Treasurer for the Township of Muskoka Lakes before joining the District. Prior to that she served as Controller for Cequent Towing Products of Canada, formerly Hidden Hitch; Chief Financial Officer, Algonquin Scientific; Senior Manager, TD Canada Trust; and Manager, Ernst Young.

Julie grew up in Huntsville before leaving for school and starting her career in Toronto. Julie, her husband and two adult children have lived in Huntsville for 18 years. She is actively involved with the Muskoka Ski Club and enjoys weekly family dinners with her extended family.

Chair John Klinck and members of the CAO Selection Panel participated in the search process with support from executive search firm Odgers Berndston. More than 40 applications from across Canada were received in response to the District’s posting.

“District Council is very pleased to have Julie lead our exceptional staff team, especially as we navigate the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 and work to support our communities as we recover together from this global pandemic. We believe Ms. Stevens possesses that unique combination of skills and abilities that will allow her to continue the great tradition of exceptional leadership at the District of Muskoka.” says John Klinck, Chair, District of Muskoka

Council extends great thanks to Samantha Hastings, Commissioner of Community and Planning Services and Interim CAO for stepping forward to provide leadership during the recruitment and transition process.


  1. Zero ethics and Stevens is promoted…
    Typical action at the District.
    Worst group of people we have ever come across.  

    Irresponsible, unethical and illegal actions are ingrained at the District of Muskoka.
    Duben and Stevens were the worst examples.
    Duben and Stevens recommended the District keep almost all of $300,000 taken “by mistake” in an 11 year tax error from 198 properties in Gravenhurst.
    Duben blamed residents!!! for not noticing the District’s tax error.

    The District admitted on CogecoTV they illegally tried to force sewers on residents in Bracebridge .
    They are that desperate.
    Residents, with the help of the Province, had to educate the District on the Municipal Act to stop them. They are at it again now with mandatory connections even though Wasaga Beach already FAILED in court trying to force sewers.

    For documentation including video of Duben blaming residents and both of them being scolded by a mayor and the district chair for trying to “get away with” keeping almost all the money Google “Oppose Bracebridge Sewers”. 

    “District of Muskoka Mission Statement of Managing our Legacy Together”.
    Try “Smugly Wasting Taxpayer Money”.
    Far more accurate.
    That’s what a Bracebridge resident put on a giant sign in front of one of the houses the District clowns blew up. 
    That’s Duben’s legacy.
    Stevens will just continue his legacy of smugly wasting taxpayer money, unfortunately for Muskoka residents.
    To see a picture of the giant sign Google “Oppose Bracebridge Sewers”.

  2. I’m sure interviewing other candidates was just going through the motions.
    They had already decided Stevens would be CAO as soon as Duben said he was leaving. 
    A new person would have asked very embarrassing questions about why they keep blowing 10s of millions every year on sewers people don’t want.
    Why there are 18!! multi-million dollar plants for only 10,000 users and why water and sewer rates are by far the highest in Ontario. 
    $2,400/year is typical. And rising every year.

    As Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith said the District’s water and sewer cost is “UNSUSTAINABLE”, “ALARMING”, “UNACCEPTABLE”, “people are struggling to pay their bills”.
    Capital costs are “incredible”. “Per user cost of capital I can’t imagine is even close to anybody else”.
    $128,000 cost per household in Baysville for example. $22.4 million for 350 users or 175 households.
    Cost is no object at the District.

    They are going ahead with the $65 million project in Huntsville even though they have very little money from the province or the feds.
    Stevens even said she “doesn’t know where” they will get the money if it’s not from other levels of government.
    We all know where they will get the money.
    They will just double or triple water and sewer rates for everyone.
    The $65 million will likely balloon to $100+ million because, you know, rocks.
    “Unexpected rocks”.


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