County will miss Ross’s guid­ance

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - O.R.S.

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.

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