By Lethbridge Herald on May 20, 2020.
City council formally appointed Craig Dalton as Lethbridge’s new manager during Tuesday’s council meeting.
Dalton, the former federal veterans ombudsman, takes over from interim manager Jody Meli, who will retire following a transition period as Dalton gets up to speed.
Dalton said he was eager to take up the task ahead, and would draw on all his previous experience as a federal official, a former provincial deputy minister and in his role as a senior officer in the Canadian military.
“I am confident the experience I have puts me in a good position to get me up to speed as quickly as I can, and beginning to add value,” he told reporters in his inaugural press conference following his appointment by city council. “I am ready to join the community here and do my bit to support council’s efforts to move the community forward.”
Dalton’s wife will be moving to Lethbridge from Prince Edward Island by August to join him here. Dalton did not expect the move to be overly difficult despite his last six years spent largely in Eastern and Atlantic Canada, recalling that since his youth he has moved 27 times and lived in every province of Canada save Saskatchewan and Newfoundland.
Dalton does have previous ties to Lethbridge as his brother once attended Lethbridge College and worked in the city for a few years.
“It’s a real pleasure to be in Lethbridge, and a real pleasure to have the opportunity to work with and support council,” Dalton stated. “And work with a city organization that has a reputation for delivering great services. This is certainly not the situation I thought I would be entering a few months back when I noticed the opportunity with the additional challenges associated with COVID-19. But I know the City is well down the road to responding to those, and I am just very excited to be here, and excited to get underway.”
Dalton said what he was most looking forward to in taking on the city manager role is being active in carrying out council policies and initiatives and working alongside community partners and City staff for the betterment of the community as a whole.
“It has brought me here with a lot of energy because I much prefer to solve problems than point them out,” he said, referencing his most recent post as federal veterans ombudsman in particular.
“I am happy to be back in a problem-solving role and working with problem-solvers. I think the majority of my work experience, if not the entirety, has involved problem-solving and moving forward to achieve goals and objectives set back elected officials.
“And certainly the last six years as a deputy minister and an ombudsman, it is working with and for elected officials, and energizing and leading organizations to get what those elected officials want to get done.”
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