Mayor and Council Gain Appreciation for Frontline City Staff 

For Immediate Release
3/21/2013 
Contact: Anita Szaloky, Director, Human Resources 
Phone: 519-759-4150 

Mayor Chris Friel and Brantford City Councillors walked a mile in their shoes – City staff shoes and safety boots, that is.

The Mayor and Councillors spent time with frontline City staff on Thursday, March 21 for Staff Appreciation Day and tried their hand at a variety of City jobs including:

  • Assisting customers at the transit terminal kiosk 
  • Finding out, first-hand, what a transit inspector does
  • Riding with a water distribution service truck 
  • Joining the Solid Waste Operations Manager at the landfill site 
  • Operating a sewer camera 
  • Riding along on the sewer jet truck
  • Taking part in a health and safety inspection
  • Sorting mail and documents in the City’s mailroom 
  • Learning what goes on during building inspections
  • Joining the snow removal crew

Last fall, Council resolved to gain a better understanding of the work of frontline City staff on Staff Appreciation Day. This event provides members of Council with an opportunity to appreciate the work and contributions of its employees who deliver a wide variety of services to the public.

Mayor Friel explained, "We all expect certain things as Brantford residents and it is City staff who make it happen. We want our water to come out of the tap clean and safe to drink. We expect our toilets to flush and our garbage to be taken away. We rely on City staff to clear and maintain streets, roads and sidewalks, and to keep the buses running. We also expect that all City workplaces and facilities are safe for the people who use them.”

After his experience at the Brantford Transit ticket kiosk and operating a sewer camera, the Mayor added, “Today Councillors and I spent time with frontline staff to find out what they do for the City as they carry out their day-to-day duties. I've come away from this experience with a much greater appreciation for the work of our dedicated City employees and a better understanding of just what they do to keep Brantford running smoothly."

Councillor Utley and Solid Waste Superintendent Eric Jennings at the compost pile at Mohawk Street Sanitary Landfill

Councillor John Utley spent a few hours cleaning sanitary sewers with Dan Bowden, Manager, Operational Services, and staff in the morning and at the Mohawk Street Sanitary Landfill Site with Superintendent - Solid Waste Operations, Eric Jennings, and staff in the afternoon. He remarked, “What a great day I've had working with friendly, technically knowledgeable and professional employees. The weather could have been a few degrees warmer but it sure gave me an appreciation for the winter conditions City employees work in.”

Councillor Utley continued, “After cleaning out sanitary sewers on Hillier Street, I have a heightened appreciation of how important this job is to ensure waste from our homes is flushed away safely and efficiently. Processing of waste at the landfill site is very well managed to meet provincial standards. I was impressed with the processing of garden/tree materials and by the size of the new transfer station. The two employees at the weigh scale building took great pride in showing me how they work with contractors and the public handling what could be awkward situations very professionally.” 

“The whole experience helped me see, first hand, how some of the most critical and unseen functions of our City are performed by dedicated and professional employees. A special thank you to staff who allowed me to join them and learn from them,” he added.

Superintendent - Solid Waste Operations, Eric Jennings added, “It was great to spend a few hours with Councilor Utley showing him the day-to-day activities at the landfill site. We are all appreciative that he took the time to learn more about what we do every day. We were able to show him the work staff does at the computerized scale house operation, separating items for recycling at the public drop off area, and at the tipping face for the disposal of waste.” He continued, “We showed Councilor Utley the composting process, from curbside collection of grass, leaves and garden waste to the final product - the free mulch we provide to City residents. Councilor Utley expressed his appreciation of staff and all the initiatives taken to reduce waste in the landfill. It was an enjoyable day for all!”