The City of Thunder Bay's monthly Employee Spotlight shares the unique stories of people working behind the scenes delivering programs and services for the residents of Thunder Bay. We recognize and celebrate our employees and invite you to get to know them.


Feature employee spotlight: Ian Spoljarich 

Ian Spoljarich, Thunder Bay's Manager of Roads, and his dogIan Spoljarich, Manager of Roads, began his career with the City in September 2018, as Supervisor of Waste Collection. In 2021 he became Supervisor of Roads South (for the southern portion of Thunder Bay), and quickly moved on to become Manager of Roads.

Asked for a description of a typical day on the job, Ian replied that no day or week is typical! Each week brings new challenges, and Ian makes sure to connect with other supervisors regularly. Often there are meetings throughout the day, including talks with City Councillors on roads issues and speaking with residents about their concerns.

Ian also makes it a priority to observe conditions on the city’s roads first-hand. If there is a pause in the meetings, he gets out to check on pavement issues and street lighting. Often, the day’s prospective schedule can change with the weather – an oncoming storm will mean preparation for wet or snowy conditions.

Getting information about the condition of the city’s roads out to the public is also a priority for Ian. “We’ve been putting more detailed information out in media releases and on social media, especially when there is a weather event that affects the roads,” said Ian. “That way, people aren’t left with questions about whether they can get around the city.”  

“It was a very busy winter for the City’s Roads employees, and an even busier spring – but our staff took it in stride. They are dedicated, and take pride in their work. Just when we saw a break in the snow, in came the spring, with melting and flooding – and staff were out again to make the roadways safe for motorists.”

Asked about the weekly Wednesday storms we experienced in March-April, Ian said, “Our staff responded well for the amount of snow we had. But every Wednesday, there would be 30-40 cm of new snow, and in between we would get small snowfalls, so there was not a lot of time to work on equipment and prepare for the next storm – we were constantly out on the roads.”

“I and our Roads staff feel that we helped people get to work and school safely - but I am hoping this is the worst winter I will ever see, and that it gets better from here!”

When Ian isn’t watching the weather for the next storm, he takes time for fun and family. “Life is busy. We have a 5-year-old son and a 3-year-old son and a new lab puppy! I love to spend my free time with family, and if I can sneak away, I enjoy a round of golf.”

 

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