Longtime RDEK employee retires

After a 35-year tenure with the RDEK, Dan McNeill has called it a career.

Rob Gay (left) and Dan McNeill

Rob Gay (left) and Dan McNeill

After a 35-year tenure with the RDEK, Dan McNeill has called it a career.

NcNeil, who served as the Building and Protective Services Manager for the last 10 years, was honoured by the board of directors during their monthly meeting last Friday.

“Over the past 35 years, Dan has been a dedicated servant to our public and a reliable employee. He has always been a well-respected member of the RDEK team and is known for his sense of humour,” said Rob Gay, chair of the board and Area C director. “Dan has personally witnessed the myriad of changes this organization and his own department have experienced and has helped the staff through the changing times.”

McNeill started his career in 1979 as a building inspector with the RDEK. He was promoted to Building Inspector 2/RRAP coordinator a year later, and further advanced to Building Inspector 3/RRAP—a position he held for 13 years.

His last post as Building and Protective Services manager was an era of change.

Before McNeill took over, the department was solely focused on building inspection and bylaw enforcement. When he arrived, that changed with the addition of emergency programs, fire services, 911, community wildfire protection and office maintenance.

McNeill had a chance to address the board and his colleagues, recalling a conversation he had with a friend back in high school.

“[He said] find something you love to do and figure out a way to get someone to pay you to do it. And I feel like that’s what happened. I’ve enjoyed all 35 years of my tenure here. Everyday I came to work it was always a new challenge.

“…When I started, there was no such thing as a fax machine, no such thing as computers, and cell phones, as we know them today, were the size of Get Smart—Maxwell Smart’s shoe,” he joked. “So there have been a lot of changes. As a matter of fact, my secretary used to use carbon paper. When I mention that to my secretary now, she looks at me like I have two heads. So there has been a lot of changes, but they’ve all been pretty good.”

McNeill left a legacy with the RDEK, as he was project manager for the hew boardroom, conference room and RDEK chair office that was opened in April 2013.

McNeill also had a impact with RDEK programs, playing a role in the logistics branch during the wildfires of 2003, and carried out the same role during flooding in recent years. McNeill was also involved in drawing up those emergency support plans.