Monday, April 05, 2010

Michael Curnes move to Northern Health just one of a number of departures from the City in March

March was departures month for the City of Prince Rupert, with a number of high profile civic employees moving on from employment with the City. Of the many items of interest, one provided what will probably be the closest we get to an official review of the departure of the city's Recreation Director Michael Curnes, as the City's newsletter features a farewell to Mr. Curnes as he leaves the city's employ, destined for his new position with Northern Health in Prince Rupert.

The Community newsletter for March, recounts many of Mr. Curnes ambitious endeavours during his time of employ at the Civic Centre, a checklist of sorts of the efforts he put forward not only to the position of Recreation Director but to other aspects of community life as well.

The March letter features a number of other high profile departures to review, with Kirby and Patricia Holkestad both retiring from civic employment and a review of Bob Thompson's retirement in mid March also highlighted in this months edition.

All were also saluted in the Mayor's Message section as Mayor Jack Mussallem praised the quartet for their contributions to the city over their years of employment.

You can catch up on all the retirements from the website here.

Or review them at your leisure below:

Bob Thompson 

 The CITY OF PRINCE RUPERT is grateful to Robert/Bob Thompson and the 35 years he dedicated to keeping our City working, safe and ever-modernizing. Bob Thompson retired on Friday, March 19, 2010 and begins the new phase of his life which in the next few months will include a cruise with his wife from London to Finland to Russia and back. From every employee who has worked with Bob for the past three and a half decades and from every resident that has benefitted from the Community this man has dedicated his professional life to improving, BON VOYAGE, Bob.

Excerpts from Bob's Resume: CITY OF PRINCE RUPERT General Manager, Engineering & Public Works (1993 to Present) This is a Department Head position, part of the Senior Management Team, responsible for the Engineering and Public Works Departments; Council Advisor on Infrastructure. CITY OF PRINCE RUPERT Manager of Operations (1987-1993) Responsible for O&M of Roads, Water, Wastewater, Solid Waste Collection & Disposal, Parks, Cemetery, Golf Course, Mechanics’ Shop, Administrative, and HR/Labour Relations functions for the Public Works Department (80 – 100 employees).

Before Bob entered city management, he did work in Prince Rupert as a member of the Union ranks from 1974 to 1976 and then from 1979 to 1987. During the first stint, he worked as a labourer in the Roads and Sewer Sections of Public Works and occasionally as a garbage collector before finally landing a position as a rod & chainman on the Engineering Survey Crew. This turned Bob onto engineering and the City job allowed him to save the money he needed to go back to Technical School.

After returning from school, Bob's next tour of duty started in 1979 when he moved back to the City from Ottawa for what he thought would be a year at most before moving to somewhere else in BC. He worked as an Instrumentman on the survey crew, then a Instrumentman/draftsman and relief for the timekeeper at City Stores.

Bob says he was lucky enough to work on a number of major projects and remembers one day being asked to take over construction supervision of the RV Park in the morning and the surveying for the civil work for the new Pool in the same afternoon.

Bob was also active in CUPE 105 as an executive member and member of a number of bargaining committees. In later years, probably the project Bob enjoyed the most was the arena rebuild where they went right done to below sub-grade and rebuilt it from scratch. "I was a long ways from home (Montreal) when I started here at the age of 21, almost 36 years ago but I would have to say that the City of Prince Rupert has treated me extremely well over the years and, best of all, I had a lot of fun with the people here along the way. I suppose that in the end was a big part of why I stayed." --Robert (Bob) Thompson

Patricia and Kirby Holkestad 

 Staff and Managers from both the City and CityWest turned out to salute the career achievements of this dynamic pair, this month. While Kirby, who started in 1978 has worked for CityWest for 32 years, Pat, who started with City Telephone and worked there for 12 years, made a move to the City's Recreation Department in 1996 where she has worked the past 14 years.

Michael Curnes 

Speaking of Contributions...the City Wishes Michael Curnes Well in His New Role at Northern Health The departure of Michael Curnes from his position as Recreation Director at the City of Prince Rupert will be particularly difficult to accommodate. Michael has given his best there with fantastic results. Whether it be a long-awaited zamboni snow pit or the more obvious projects like the new outdoor Green Gym, Mr. Curnes has worked hard to keep the recreation department current. His bleacher upgrade in the gym at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre was a gutsy move given the economic times but it certainly secured our top sporting event, the All-Native Basketball tournament, a better home.

Organizations must be driven by people with purpose. Michael did that for Recreation. But he also had an additional mandate that included social issues and all the things he did “off the side of his desk”. The Green Task Force and the Measuring Up Program are but two of the many groups he worked with “after hours”. Having a special interest in the Arts, Michael contributed there as well. “Engaged in the community” is an understatement. Luckily for Prince Rupert, Mr. Curnes has chosen to stay with local Public Service. While with the City, he pushed not just for change for change sake but to improve the lives of the people here. You can bet that won’t change.

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