So long, and thanks for all the stone soup

All the best to Allan Winarski, who just resigned after 17 years as chief administrative officer of the M.D. of Lesser Slave River. That’s a good run, in a job that is no walk in the park.

Winarski will be remembered for a lot of things. Perhaps chief among them will be keeping a cool head and a sense of humour no matter what mountainous difficulties the M.D. was dealing with. Floods, fires, personnel shortages, land-use disputes, revenue shortfalls – what have you. Of course layered on top of all of this are the expectations of residents – demanding action on this, that and the other thing.

In the small circle of people who attended council meetings, Winarski is famous for something else: his weird and often comical turns of phrase. One of them is up there in the headline of this piece. ‘We’ll make stone soup out of this,’ he would tell council. Where did that come from? Nobody had a clue.

Most meetings he was good for two or three of these, seemingly from straight out of left field. You never knew exactly what you were going to get, just that it was going to be unlike anything else. Pure Winarski. For example:

‘That’s the barf on the pavement on this one,’ he told council on Jan. 28, 2015, in a report about a re-zoning application in Wagner.

‘So you don’t have to hire a Philadelphia lawyer to look for death cookie clauses in the contract.’ – Nov. 10, 2015.

‘That’s the zit on the beauty queen’s nose.’ – Oct. 25, 2017, during a discussion on his analysis of the Town of Slave Lake’s accounting practices on the Fire Services Agreement.

And so on.

We wish him the best in is future endeavours, whatever they may be.

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