City fills another administrative gap

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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City of Humboldt finance director Steve Brown has been named Prince Albert’s new director of corporate services. 

The addition of Humboldt finance director to Prince Albert’s administrative team has further cemented the city’s new direction, Mayor Greg Dionne said.

 

“I’m really excited because of course we want to take the city in a new direction, which is open for business and more customer service orientated,” Dionne said. “I’m really pleased with the team that (city manager) Jim Toye is putting together to get to that goal.

“He’s going to be an excellent employee -- young and energetic.”

Although he currently serves Humboldt as finance director, Brown said that his shift to the director of corporate services position in Prince Albert isn’t too great a leap.

“There are similarities and overlap,” he said from his Humboldt office this week.

“There’s a challenge up there and I’m looking forward to it … I wouldn’t be applying for the position if I couldn’t learn anything from it and challenge myself as well.”

As a Carlton Comprehensive Public High School alumnus, Brown’s relocation to Prince Albert is both homecoming and career advancement.

Another factor in his decision to apply for the position was the opportunity to join Prince Albert’s administrative team, he said.

“The opportunity to work with the new city manager up there, Jim Toye, really excited me as well because he’s quite an energetic individual -- one of the more respected individuals across the country, actually,” he said.

“I’ve been around the province for a few years in the municipal world, and I was excited to work with a few of the individuals (in Prince Albert).”

The corporate services department is responsible for corporate communications, occupational health and safety, human resources and information technology.

Although the bulk of his municipal experience has been in finance, Brown said that his role as finance director of Humboldt came with a wide breath of additional tasks.

“My technical title here is director of finance, but … I’ve implemented some very sweeping changes in (information technology) here,” he explained.

There’s a challenge up there and I’m looking forward to it … I wouldn’t be applying for the position if I couldn’t learn anything from it and challenge myself as well. Steve Brown

“We followed Prince Albert’s footsteps here when we implemented our new financial management system, which I did from both the finance side and the IT side.”

A media release by the City of Humboldt outlines some of Brown’s key accomplishments since he came on board with the city in November, 2011.

In addition to introducing the new financial management system, he developed a process for changes in municipal purchasing that has resulted in “significant savings” and he oversaw technology improvements such as a new organization-wide phone system that has resulted in further cost savings and improved productivity.

With Prince Albert constantly grappling with its aging infrastructure, Brown’s role in asset management planning and procedures for Humboldt’s critical infrastructure and initiating regional discussion with other municipalities surrounding infrastructure planning and group purchase might prove particularly useful.

The group-purchasing model is something that Toye has brought to the city since becoming city manager in January. By linking group purchases with other municipalities and organizations he anticipates finding cost savings with various purchases -- from fire trucks to water treatment plant chemicals.

Brown takes over as director of corporate services on June 2.

Chris Cvik resigned as acting city manager and permanent director of corporate services in November.

The past several months have seen a significant shakeup of city administration.

The only gap that remains is the city clerk position in light of Cliff Skauge’s recent retirement. Sherry Person has been appointed acting city clerk, having served with the city since 1994 and as assistant city clerk since 2005. 

Organizations: Prince Albert, Carlton Comprehensive Public High School

Geographic location: Humboldt

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