New CSO commander in NB, replaces former commander now in B’ford

You need a scorecard to keep up with the changes in community safety personnel on both sides of the North Saskatchewan River.

On Monday night at a meeting of North Battleford city council, Alain Manibal was introduced as the new Community Safety Officer commander in North Battleford.

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He replaces longtime commander Ross MacAngus, who was announced Thursday as the new public safety officer for the Town of Battleford.

MacAngus fills the role Manibal previously held in Battleford as public safety officer. Manibal left that position several months ago to join the Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in North Battleford. Manibal also had several years of prior experience with the RCMP before those roles.

In speaking to reporters Monday, City Manager Randy Patrick welcomed Manibal to his new position Monday.

“This was a really good hire from our perspective, he was actually doing the downtown work with the RCMP,” said Patrick. “We got just an absolutely top-notch unit commander there, and looking forward to seeing what he could do.”

For their part, the Town of Battleford was happy with their hire of MacAngus. He was introduced at the special meeting of town council last Thursday, which he attended in the gallery.  

“We are excited to have you and have your experience back on the roads in our community,” said Mayor Ames Leslie at the meeting.

Changing Times

These latest moves are just some of the top-level staffing changes seen in both Battleford and North Battleford over the past couple of years.

On Monday, North Battleford also announced Lindsay Holm had been elevated to become the new fire chief, filling a role left vacant with the departure of Trevor Brice a few months ago. Brice himself had taken over from Albert Headrick, who departed as Fire Chief in 2017.

North Battleford had seen changes to other high-ranking personnel. Patrick had taken over as city manager last year after his predecessor, Jim Puffalt, left for a similar role in Moose Jaw.

Former North Battleford director of finance, David Gillan, also departed the city, and now fills a similar role over in the Town of Battleford.

His replacement in North Battleford, Amarjit Mahil, left after one year for a position at the University of Saskatchewan, with Steve Brown hired to fill the role in late 2018. 

Leisure Services also saw a change at the top with Cheryl DeNeire taking over as director from the retiring Bill Samborski in 2018.

The changes have not gone unnoticed. The News-Optimist received a letter to the editor in October that was highly critical of the “continual revolving door” in city administration in North Battleford. The writer wanted to know “what is going on at City Hall.”

When contacted for a response, Mayor Ryan Bater replied with the following statement on Oct. 24:

“Turnover is common in large organizations but there was a significant turnover in management positions 2-3 years ago.  Council’s focus since that time has been on recruiting a strong and effective management team to address the City’s challenges and move us forward.”

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