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New city manager has impressive record of leadership

Ron Walter looks at the new city manager and street sweeping.
Trading Thoughts by Ron Walter

Moose Jaw City Council made a significant choice when it appointed Maryse Carmichael as the new city manager.

Carmichael has an impressive record of meeting difficult challenges.

She became an RCAF pilot when female armed forces pilots were rare and often faced discrimination.

She became the first female member of the Snowbirds aerial demonstration team and then became its leader.

Once out of the military, she worked in Moose Jaw management with civilian contractors at 15 Wing.

Her record is impressive but one of the interesting features — she is familiar with the community, has a family living here and will appreciate the nuances of issues facing the city.

Ever since Moose Jaw City council dismissed city manager Gary McKay 10 years ago because council “wanted to go in a different direction” we have had career managers.

Those managers saw Moose Jaw as a stepping stone to advance their career goals, without considerations of what was most desirable by residents.

People from cities where the last manager was employed thanked us for hiring him –– something the hiring city council wasn’t able to figure out beforehand.

The new city manager faces a plate full of concerns.

The 20-year water main line replacement is already about five years behind schedule.

The road conditions that gained Moose Jaw the Pothole City nickname need attention.

A long winter with plenty of freeze-thaw cycles aggravated the pothole situation.

What kind of management would allow the city pothole truck to break down on the third day of pothole repairs? The city has had a lot of garbage truck breakdowns too.

It sounds like not enough preventive maintenance has been done.

One recalls the elimination of the fire department mechanic a few years ago to save wages and provide more work for the city yards. Some budget savings come back to haunt.

The “them versus us’’ attitude of some city hall staff and by some city councillors will present a challenge to the new manager.


Last year the annual street sweeping of our street was a disgrace. Gobs of mud and dead leaves were left in the gutters, hindering flow of water when it rained.

Once upon a time city crews sent someone with a shovel to loosen debris. Not last year.

This year was a pleasant surprise. The sweeping left the gutters clear to drain water. Great job!


During intermission at the Brenda Lee Cottrell Legendary Women’s concert I ran into into esteemed steel guitar star Tex Emery, who moved to Moose Jaw years ago.

Tex recalled all the fun he had doing comedy with Grandpa Jones on the long-running Hee Haw TV show.

Tex turns 93 this year and hasn’t lost his comedy schtick.

“You know,” he said, “I told my wife the other day I’m going to start chasing women because I haven’t got much time.”

Ron Walter can be reached at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication. 

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