Estevan has made a positive first impression on Amber Smale.
Smale is Estevan's new City manager, and her first day on the job was February 10. She was sworn-in at the Estevan City Council meeting on the 10th.
“It was a great first day,” said Smale. “What I wanted to do today was to meet all the staff and go to the different facilities.”
The employees have been friendly and wonderful to interact with thus far, she said.
Smale worked in various departments for the City of Regina over the past 22 years, and brings that experience to Estevan. She started working for the City of Regina when she was 16.
She said she grew up while working with the City, and developed a lot of great friendships, memories and experiences.
Smale had been Regina's deputy City clerk since April of 2007, and she viewed a City manager's job as a growth opportunity.
“There were a few locations that I was looking at, and this one was close to home,” said Smale. “My family is very important to me, it's very close and very large, and so I wanted to be in an area that wasn't too far from Regina.”
After weighing her options, and seeing all that Estevan has to offer, she opted for the Energy City.
Smale said she enjoys the operational side of municipal governance, and she believes that a City manager provides that balance between public policy and operations.
She believes that two other assets will serve her well as Estevan's City manager: she places a strong emphasis on customer service, and she has a master's degree in business administration.
“I think a lot of the ideas from a larger city can be done in a smaller community as well, and at the end of the day, we need to make sure that we're providing the best level of service for the public,” said Smale.
One of the first things that she wants to do is review how things are done in Estevan, and the areas that need to be improved upon or changed.
Smale was also active in the community in Regina, and one of her volunteer efforts was she chaired Regina's Dragon Boat Festival. She said she would love to bring dragon boats to Estevan, regardless of whether it's indoor dragon boat tug-of-wars at the RM of Estevan Aquatic Centre, or outdoor dragon boat races for the Beach Bash at the Boundary Dam Beach Site in August.