Meet Garry Roth. He’s the new Director of Community Services for the Town of Slave Lake. On the job a bit over a month, Roth says he’s still in the process of figuring out how things work.
“So far, so good,” he says. “It’s always a big learning curve, but I’ve done similar work before.”
That was for the City of Grande Prairie, where he served as director of ‘community living.’
In Roth’s purview is overall responsibility for the swimming pool, the multi rec centre, the Legacy Centre, parks, ball fields, rec programming, Family and Community Support Services and the town’s enforcement services.
“There’s always a lot going on,” he says.
Roth comes from southern Alberta, in the Medicine Hat area. He studied at Lethbridge Community College, in a program that led him into a career in municipal law enforcement.
“I was a peace office for 23 years,” he says. “In Grande Prairie I was enforcement services manager.”
That was before he made the jump into the community living portfolio. Before coming to GP, Roth held peace officer positions in Bow Island, Flagstaff County and Leduc County.
“It was moving up each time,” he says. “From one-man operations to Grande Prairie where I had 16 officers.”
Along the way, he says, he upgraded with various certificates in the area of municipal leadership.
Roth is married (to Lois) and they have two adult sons. Outside of work, he enjoys running and cycling long distances.
“I’m training for an ultra-marathon,” he says. “And I hope to do one or two Gran Fondos this year. That’s Italian for ‘big bike ride.’ Last year I rode from Ottawa to Halifax as part of a fundraiser.”
As for his impressions of Slave Lake so far, Roth says he hasn’t done or seen much outside of work so far, but has found people “very friendly and welcoming.”