April 25, 2007
Chief Commissioner announces retirement
Bill Sutherland has led County administration for 10 years
Strathcona County's Chief Commissioner, Bill Sutherland, has announced he will retire in the next few months. As chief administrative officer for the County, Mr. Sutherland is responsible for a staff of 1,200 full-time and part-time employees who deliver services to the community.
"Early on, Bill encouraged the development of an overall vision and clear goals to focus our plans and actions. He made a strong contribution to the development of our strategic plan that involved an extensive community consultation process," says Mayor Cathy Olesen. "This has helped us focus the energy and efforts of our corporate administration on achieving the vision our residents endorsed, and is probably Bill's most significant and far-reaching accomplishment."
Bill Sutherland played an important role in the implementation of many important Council initiatives including Millennium Place, Heartland Hall, Centre in the Park and the community energy system. The County's annual business planning and budgeting process has been refined. A new Municipal Development Plan is in the final stages of completion, and Council recently approved its first social sustainability framework.
"Strathcona County is viewed as a leader throughout Alberta in part because of Bill's influence," says George Huybregts, Associate Commissioner of Corporate Services. "Bill's vision and leadership has resulted in a forward-looking and sustainable organization, a legacy of which he can be proud."
Strong partnerships with other municipalities, both large and small, have been a hallmark of Bill Sutherland's approach. "Bill is an advocate for collaborative initiatives such as Alberta's Industrial Heartland, and their potential benefits for our community and our region," says Gerry Gabinet, Manager of Economic Development and Tourism.
Among County employees, Bill Sutherland is seen as approachable and open. Kevin Camp, President of AUPE Local 118, says, "Bill is straightforward, open to listening, and down-to-earth."
"Bill makes a point of letting employees know their contributions are highly valued, and encourages teamwork. He brings out the best in people," says Al McCalder, Manager of Human Resources.
"I have always felt my role was to create the conditions to allow our organization to succeed," says Bill Sutherland. "I consider it a privilege to have had the opportunity to help position Strathcona County as a model community for the future, one that balances economic prosperity with environmental stewardship and social responsibility."
In 2005, Bill Sutherland was honoured with one of Alberta's most prestigious awards for public service, the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Excellence in Public Administration.
The exact date of Mr. Sutherland's retirement has yet to be confirmed. An executive search firm is being engaged to recruit his replacement.
Mayor Cathy Olesen, 464-8000
Bill Sutherland, 464-8100