The City of Lloydminster now has a new City Manager.
Dion Pollard starts in the role Wednesday, with Interim City Manager Rick McDonald officially done in his temporary position. The City has been looking for a permanent City Manager since the firing of Glenn Carroll in late March following recommendations stemming from the Governance Audit.
McDonald says City staff has done “marvelously” with all of the changes since the Cuff report.
“The staff have responded positively. I think we’ve saved a few dollars for the City. We’ve put in place some processes and procedures that are economical and feasible and I think that’s been well received by the employees. I think we’ve changed the culture a little bit in terms of [employees] importance, employees are very important. I think our executive has done a [great] job of addressing all of the issues that came forward.”
McDonald says a highlight during his time was, “working with a really solid group of people, especially your council. I have done this work for over 20 years, going in and helping organizations and cities and towns and villages and counties to revisit their governance models and revamp their operations. Never have I worked, not to say the other ones were bad, but this was definitely a council of honourable people, with integrity, transparent, with the same objectives that we all have which is to what’s best for the citizens.”
However, McDonald says he didn’t accomplish everything he wanted.
“When you’re in the throws of making change, you would like to see some things through. Obviously not everything’s complete, we’ve got a lot of work to do. What I’ve been telling the executive is we have done the heavy lifitng, we have set the train on the track but now it’s filling that train up and moving it forward.”
Mayor Gerald Aalbers says, “Mr. Rick McDonald has come into our city at a time when he had a fresh new council to work with and he was given a task and a mandate from council, to try and implement those changes in the Cuff Report. I think he’s done a great job.”
According to the City, the new City Manager has gained extensive senior leadership experience over the past 20 years. Most recently he served as the CAO for the City of Lacombe.
Pollard says, “I’m looking forward to continuing the direction that the council and Rick and the senior leadership team have set forth.”
He adds, “anytime you start a new position, it can be a challenge getting to know people, getting to know different processes, dealing with different situations that arise and that will come over the next few months.”
As for McDonald, he says he is now headed to somewhere warmer for some time off.