Checking in with the mayor of Slave Lake last week after the April 6 town council meeting was canceled, we learned the town is in the process of filling several vacant positions.
“We should have people in human resources (HR) and planning and development soon,” said Tyler Warman. “And the new communications guy starts today.”
Not only that, a few of the recreation people who were laid off due to COVID shutdowns last year have moved on, meaning more positions have to be filled from scratch.
“So we’re on a bit of a hiring spree,” Warman said.
The top job in planning and development came open a month or two ago when long-time director Laurie Skrynyk retired. Her replacement is Ted Traikovski. According to CAO David Kim, he brings over 20 years of municipal experience in planning and related fields to the job. He is to start with the town on May 10.
HR has been vacant since December, when Kirsten Coutts resigned. Starting on May 3 as HR manager is Sandra Robak. Like Traikovski, she’s got a couple of decades of experience in the field, Kim says.
The communications position came open when Christopher Brown finished his tenure with the town in February. His replacement, said Warman, is coming to town from Calgary. His name is Jordan Schenkelberg.
According to information provided by the town, Schenkelberg’s experience includes “being part of the broadcasting team for several sports events, both locally and internationally in Switzerland. I also have experience within news broadcast and station operation as a Master Control Operator at CTV Calgary. Most recently I have been able to work within Alberta’s film industry, where I assisted with the production of feature films such as Cold Pursuit, and a Netflix original series called Damnation.”
Speaking of communications, the mayor said he’s looking forward to upping his game, cranking out more ‘vlogs’ on various topics and generally seeing to it that the new communications coordinator earns his money (that last bit liberally paraphrased by the author).
Communication is not a one-way street. The mayor said when it comes to keeping up the pressure on the provincial government to do something about the condition of highways in the area, all hands on deck works better.
“We need public feedback,” he said, adding the province needs to get the message that “this is not acceptable.”
This is notwithstanding the announcement by the province last month 14 kilometres of Hwy. 2 near Slave Lake will be resurfaced this summer.
“I don’t think it’s enough,” said Warman.
Warman said the regional tri-council is getting together later this month to talk specifically about economic development. He hopes the group can focus in on some practical project “that has an impact.” He doesn’t know what that might be, but points to the forest products mills operating in the area as an example. Once upon a time, somebody had an idea, and those mills operating today are the result of it. There must be something else along those lines that can be accomplished, he said.
“We need to think bigger.”