A bit about my background.
Grew up on the family farm southwest of Milo where I reside today. We farm dry land cereal grains and oil seeds.
Studied Political Science at the University of Lethbridge and the University of Calgary. Enjoyed the opportunity to work on various projects and as a teaching assistant.
Worked on contract with the Litigation Management and Resolution Branch of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, mostly supporting active litigation research and records management over compensation for oil and gas leases.
When I needed a change from that, I became the part-time Chief Administrative Officer for the Village of Milo in 2012. My interest in this opportunity stemmed from my volunteer involvement with the Milo Sustainability Committee of the Milo & District Agricultural Society.
That first year as CAO for Milo I also worked part-time installing fences for Invisible Fence of Western Canada, a tiring but highly enjoyable job. I saw a lot of Central and Southern Alberta. … Professor Greg Deitz, of University of Milo notoriety, was a great employer. 🙂 I learned a lot about the importance of good customer service and client care.
In the fall of 2013, I began working for the Village of Arrowwood, succeeding Ted Oakes as the Chief Administrative Officer in January of 2014. I served as the shared CAO for Milo and Arrowwood for four years, four years that proved to be a very busy time for me. I learned a lot about private development, municipal finance, capital project management and municipal dispute resolution on some very challenging files.
When the Province of Alberta decided to make significant changes to the Municipal Government Act, mandating collaboration between adjacent municipalities, I decided it best to resign from the Village of Milo and keep the Village of Arrowwood. This was more a function of organizational and technological upgrades that were still needed in Arrowwood, as well as the new legislative requirements that are now required.
I have enjoyed good working relationships with elected officials and other municipal administrators in Vulcan County. This line of work has afforded me many contacts across the province and I have enjoyed opportunities to constantly learn new things.
One of the jobs of a CAO is to serve as, or co-ordinate the appointment of, a Director of Emergency Management for the municipality. I have had the opportunity to participate in a variety of training opportunities in the Incident Command System and work closely with the Alberta Emergency Management Agency.
In 2018, regional municipalities in Vulcan County chose to collaborate on emergency management. Under this regional partnership I have served as a Deputy Director of Emergency Management. While wild fires and tornadoes are our usual concern, the Covid-19 pandemic has been an instructive experience in many respects.
Also in 2018, no longer being the CAO for two villages, I thought it would be interesting to serve on the Vulcan County Subdivision & Development Appeal Board. Upon being appointed to this board by Vulcan County Council, I served on it until it was dissolved in the first half of 2021.
Having been a Development Officer for Arrowwood and Milo, as well as organizing meetings of their Municipal Planning Commissions, it was fascinating to see the development process from the perspective of an appeal board. The engagement of developers, adjacent landowners, planners and lawyers makes for some very interesting hearings.
I continue to serve on the Chinook Subdivision and Development Appeal Board, being appointed by Vulcan County Council, and being the appeal board for all jurisdictions in Vulcan County. The municipality having an appeal chooses which board members it would like to have participate in their hearing on a case by case basis.
The Villages of Arrowwood and Milo have provided me with meaningful work and I have thoroughly enjoyed the community development aspect of local government. I believe community development is made easier when we can keep government small and collaborative.
Rural Alberta remains a great place to live because of strong communities that appreciate the importance of taking responsibility for one’s own affairs in a free society. The alternative to working collectively, by free association, is higher taxes and even bigger government.
My Volunteer Involvement
Milo Curling Club (2008 to present): Volunteering on the Ice Committee and Bar Committee, as well as playing in regular league and bonspieling.
Lions Club of Milo (2009 to present): At different times serving as Treasurer, President, and Secretary, as well as other roles. I have worked on the community calendar project, on the creation of a digital archive at the Milo Library, on cemetery and park maintenance, and on our regular calendar of events and fundraisers for the community.
Milo Library Board Trustee (2009 to present): Appointed by the Village of Milo. More recently I have served as Chair and then Treasurer. I have volunteered for Friends Group projects and casinos.
Chinook Arch Regional Library Board Trustee (2012 to present): Appointed by the Village of Milo. At different times serving on the Finance and Personnel Committee, the Executive Committee and the Building Committee.
Milo and District Agricultural Society (2010 to present): Serving on the Milo Sustainability Committee and as a Director of the society at different times.
University of Lethbridge Senate – Representative Member (2013 to 2019): Helped organize visits to local schools in Vulcan County, volunteered to serve as an usher at convocation, sat on various award committees, participated in honorary degree process and other avenues of community engagement.
Milo Development Co-op Ltd. (2018 to present): The Co-op operates the restaurant facility in Milo. I have served as a Director and Secretary Treasurer, as well as on the Fundraising and Building Committees for the Will Family Legacy Project.