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Grande Prairie City Manager set to retire

After 20 years with the City of Grande Prairie, City Manager Greg Scerbak will hang up his boots at the end of December.

He took his post secondary education at the University of Waterloo and York University. Just like everyone in their career, he didn’t start out behind the city manager desk right out of school.

“I started as a custodian… a rink rat. I would clean up the community centre and then as a parks summer student with cutting the grass and planting flowers. Then, I was interim student planner and then it took off with all kinds of things. It has really been a wonderful career.”

He came to Alberta in the late 1970’s and took a job in Edmonton before heading to the Grande Prairie area. He arrived in the Swan City when the population was just over 30,000 people. Before he was City Manager, he was the Planning and Community Development Director and he says it has been a great feeling to see the city get built out in areas.

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The retiree has over 40 years of experience in municipal government and spent the last 8 years of his career as the City Manager. He has many memories from the job which include annexation and when the city won the Alberta’s Best Workplace award in 2013 from Venture Magazine. Scerbak was also part of many groups in the community including Rotary, Street Performers Festival as well as Reel Shorts Festival. He says one of his favourite memories comes from being part of the United Way.

“There was a humorous event. I won the Princess of the Day contest. It was a United Way fundraiser. The winner had to get dressed in drag and I was the princess for the day. That was a really fun event.”

Innovation Awards were recently created for city staff and Scerbak was part of initiating them. These awards are given when someone comes up with a great idea. He says if there is one legacy he would like to leave behind, it is innovation and creativity.

Although he is retiring, he isn’t going to leave the Swan City. Scerbak and his wife, Terry Scerbak who is the volunteer Program Director of the Reel Shorts Film Festival, will be staying in the area. He says he has plans for all of his free time.

“I am looking to do some volunteer work in town. I might do some painting. I play a few instruments and I used to be in a band. I have always wanted to play piano, I have never played. I have played accordions, drums, guitar but never piano.”

His last day as City Manager will be December 31st, 2016. City council will now begin the search for someone to fill his position.

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