There’s a new man in town making sure all the parks and facilities are in tip top shape and his name is Derek Starnes.
“I’m responsible for the multi-rec centre, government centre and town office, the library, pool and then all the parks, playgrounds, paths and the cemetery,” he says. “It’s a very big profile!”
Starnes arrived in Slave Lake late in 2016 after accepting the new role at the Town.
“I got here back in October so around five months ago,” he says. “It’s been very busy – much busier than I expected but it’s good. The community is great and full of volunteers who help out.”
Starnes originally hails from a small town in Saskatchewan called Turtleford. He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Science and Kinesiology from the University of Saskatchewan.
“It’s a very small town and similar to Slave Lake along with the weather,” he laughs.
Starnes had been working down in Edson for the Parks and Rec department in Yellowhead County before taking a career break and working in the oil patch.
“I decided I didn’t like it very much so I wanted to get back into parks and rec,” he says. “The job was posted online and I know a few people from Slave Lake because of the oilfield so I heard good things.”
Starnes made the move with his wife Marie-Lynn and daughter Mckynlee.
“My wife just got a job working for Tri-Council and my daughter is meeting lots of kids her age,” he says. “We’re all getting settled and the job is going great. So far so good.”
When he’s not working, Starnes says you’ll find him being active and playing various sports.
“Sports are pretty much my whole life,” he says. “I’m either watching or playing any sort of sport there is. There is a possibility of me helping coach minor league baseball here – that’s one way how I want to get involved. I have all my coaches certificates…I’m a sports nut!”