District of Clearwater hires new staff

New Public Works manager, Ernst Bezema, and deputy corporate officer. Rhonda West, round out districts staffing requirements.

By Jaime Polmateer

The District of Clearwater has made two new hires, effectively rounding out its staffing requirements.

Ernst Bezema has taken on the role of Public Works manager and Rhonda West has been brought in as the district’s deputy corporate officer, both bringing a range of experience to their new positions.

Bezema, who’s scheduled to start work on June 18, comes from Darfield, B.C. and will be overseeing any of the district’s water, sewer, cemetery and road issues.

“He’s got project management skills, which I was looking for,” said Leslie Groulx, chief administrative officer (CAO) for the District of Clearwater.

More specifically, Bezema has several years of leadership experience in the construction of roads as well as housing, sewer collection and water distribution systems, with both private and government sectors.

He also has an MBA and degree in civil engineering, and carries knowledge of budget forecasting and human resource management.

“His first order of business will be figuring out the community and how our Public Works department works with other departments in our municipality,” Groulx said.

“Then (learning about) our community and stakeholders like the (Thompson-Nicola) Regional District, other member municipalities, the Ministry of Transportation, and our engineers.”

West, the new deputy corporate officer, brings 14 years of municipal experience from Alberta to the table.

Her position gives corporate service and legal support to the CAO and Groulx said the fact she’s worked through six elections during her career was especially appealing to the district, as its going into an election later this year.

“There were people (we interviewed) who had good management experience, but not in local government and it’s important to have a local government background in that job in particular because they support me from a legal perspective,” Groulx added.

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