Public works director enjoys town and people

Rick Schmidt is one of those town employees who may receive more than his fair share of recognition.

Rick Schmidt

Rick Schmidt is one of those town employees who may receive more than his fair share of recognition, but, unfortunately, more often than not, it’s not when things are going well.

Schmidt, who is the director of public works for the Town of Rimbey, loves his job and he loves his town.

But he is first to admit that you can’t please everybody all of the time, so it’s best to do what you can do and treat everyone with kindness and respect and remember a smile and a handshake go a long way towards resolving issues for all parties involved.

Schmidt began work with the town as a utility operator. During that time, he says he was jack-of-all-trades, doing a little bit of everything that was associated with running the town.

Now, 13 years later, he oversees the public works department, handling complaints and dealing with equipment that malfunctions at a moment’s notice and directing staff to be at the right place at the right time.

“We are the wheels of the town,” he said with a laugh. “We keep things rolling.”

In spite of the complaints that are part of the job, Schmidt said he enjoys dealing with people and doing his best to accommodate their requests.

“The town has always been very good to me,” he said.

Rimbey is a small town with a big heart. A large percentage of the population is seniors, he said.

“Rimbey has its own set of challenges but working in a small town is great. People are more likely to approach you and you can deal with their issues one on one.”

While people complain about potholes, snow removal, grass recycling and weeds, he sees the town as a great place to live and work. And he wants to make it even better.

“Beautification is important to Schmidt and he has plans to spend more time ensuring the town gets spruced up for the upcom- ing summer season. He plans to work on the land- scaping around the entrance and exit signs and do his best to make the town more aesthetically pleasing.

Schmidt is married to Grace and the couple has two children, four grandchildren and a great granddaughter.

National Public Works Week was May 17 to 23. This year’s theme is Community Begins Here.

NPWW is observed each year to call attention to the importance of public works in community life and seeks to acknowledge the efforts of tens of thousands of men and women in North America who provide and maintain civil infrastructure and services. The week is an opportunity to remind the public of the many services which are the responsibility of the public works depart- ments.