County will miss Ross’s guidance
Upcoming this weekend is the retirement party for longtime CAO Ross Rawlusyk, retiring after almost 30 years with Starland County.
Everyone here at The Mail joins in wishing him a long and happy retirement, and congratulate him on the successes County ratepayers enjoy because of his tutelage.
Working with elected Councils can be a challenge, and with a table full of well intentioned farmers, it is Ross’s job to take all of their wisdom and experience and make it work for the benefit of all the ratepayers. Aided by a capable staff, Starland has progressed over the years into a well-managed, well-run and wellsupported municipality, the envy of many other rural entities. A CAO has to field calls from an angry ratepayer who has a complaint about a plugged culvert, and entertain a provincial Premier, Minister, or MLA, sometimes in the same day.
This newspaper has had an association with many Starland Councils over the years, and as Ross has so ably stated, never an issue between us that either could remember. We have attended a few Annual General Meetings in past years where few turned up, possibly because there weren’t many controversial issues that Council and Ross hadn’t already taken care of. (Actually, it was usually just Gerald Foesier and this writer in the audience, and we thought Gerald was really interested in County business, until we figured out he was only there to enjoy Helen Steen’s homemade doughnuts).
Ross was kind enough to share his personal experience with a prostate cancer scare he had a few years ago in an article we did, encouraging readers to get regular checks for their own health. Sometimes it is not easy to share this in a public way, but his willingness to do so shows the measure of the man. Ross was also all too eager to join this newspaper in collaborating with us on April Fool’s editions, and enjoyed the reaction from residents, when we had them convinced that the County had been chosen by the Province as a pilot project to convert sections of land into hectares and that County workers would be replowing roads past their farmsteads into kilometres from miles. As well, in another April Fool’s edition, we were able with Ross’s approval, to convince readers that Sam’s Saloon was going to be demolished following a motion by County council. Phone calls to the Morrin office from irate ratepayers was only exceeded by the amount of anger shown when they found out they had been fooled.
It has truly been a wonderful experience dealing with Ross throughout his tenure at Starland, and we have all benefitted from his years there. Administrators like Ross don’t come around very often, and we are glad he pushed the right buttons and turned Starland into the progressive area it is today. Thanks.