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Council chooses Griffiths as new city manager

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The learning curve for Dauphin’s new city manager will be a lot less sharp thanks to a decision to hire from within the current administrative team.
The City announced late last week that deputy city manager Sharla Griffiths will replace city manager Brad Collett, who is retiring in October.
“We felt that Sharla had the necessary skill set, both technical and administrative, to fill the requirements of the job,” said Dauphin Mayor Al Dowhan.
“And we have known her and she has provided a very valuable contribution to our city in the deputy city manager role, both administratively and has offered technical advice on various occasions. And we just felt comfortable with her skill set, her soft skills that she brings to the community and to the staff. We just wanted a seamless transition from Brad.”
The city manager position was widely advertised and Dowhan said applications were received from Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
It was council’s experience with Griffiths over the years which drove their decision.
“I saw her in action a few times and she has a way of calming people down and explaining and listening to their complaint and coming up with a good solution that is good for both the taxpayer and good for the city,” said Dowhan, who is a proponent of promoting from within, if it is warranted.
“Because you witness their work ethic, their soft skills. And if they are good, you should promote.”
Dowhan added there were other local resumes received, however, no one other than Griffiths meshed with council’s expectations.
“I hope they would apply for the deputy city manager, but they just never had the experience in municipal work, both accounting and technical. We never felt that they filled the skill set that we required for a city manager,” he said adding council’s decision to offer the job to Griffiths was unanimous.
“It felt good and everybody felt conformable with that, all the councillors. And we are certainly looking forward to seeing what Sharla’s contribution is going to be.”
According to Dowhan the hiring has relieved the angst that comes with uncertainty, and has been met with excitement by city employees, both at City Hall and in Public Works.
Working with someone familiar with existing staff and the culture at City Hall will be good for everyone involved, he said.
“We have other good staff in Finance and in Public Works and her role would be to manage those functions. She knows the Municipal Act backwards and forwards, so we just felt comfortable with her performance,” Dowhan said, adding Griffiths will continue to be a leader in city operations.
“ I think we have turned the corner. I am very upbeat and positive as to the city’s future.”