There has been some shake-up in the Town of Stettler recently, with Rob Stoutenberg retiring as CAO and Greg Switenky taking his place. The newest addition is Steve Gerlitz as assistant CAO, who started at the beginning of June.
Gerlitz is no stranger to Stettler, since he worked with the County of Stettler and County of Paintearth for about fourteen years in total. From there, he went to Camrose, where he worked as county administrator for 11 years.
“I thought it was time for a change and I knew with Rob Stoutenberg retiring and Greg moving up into the town manager’s position, that this position would be open,” Gerlitz said. “I thought it would be a good fit. I love Stettler, and I thought I’d love to come back to Stettler.”
While he was with the county of Stettler, he began as a financial clerk and from there went into accounts payable and accounts receivable, and then held various positions such as tax clerk, development officer, payroll clerk, and assistant county administrator.
“I was really, really excited to be moving back to town,” Gerlitz said. “My wife and I are presently going to be building a house in Stettler and making our family here.”
He has an educational background in business and local government administration from Red Deer College and University of Alberta. He decided to make a career out of local government because of his interest in the community.
“I was a member of the Elks in Stettler and I’d seen some of the projects that were going on with the Elks…and I’ve always had an interest in community organizations,” he said. “I thought being in local government would put me a step forward in that direction.”
Though he said the biggest learning curve was getting up to speed on the town’s projects and learning how the staff interacts, it hasn’t actually been that difficult for him. He is looking forward to most working on the skate park.
“I love looking at spreadsheets and numbers and budgets. Working as county administrator in Camrose, I was on the other end and dealing with the bigger picture stuff, and in this job I’m more into the financial management of it,” he said.
His favourite part of the job is just working with the people in the community and at the town office, and so far it’s been a good experience for him.
“Love the job,” he said. “The work is really, really good, I’m starting to get into it now, and I’m looking forward to the 2015 budget. Greg has been wonderful to work with and council has been great. Stettler has a great staff that is dedicated to all the residents of the town.”