Meet Golden’s new Manager of Development Services

Gary Smith is the new Manager of Development Services for the Town of Golden.

Gary Smith has been involved in the inner-workings of Canadian municipalities since he was 15 years old. It was then, while going to high school in Waterloo Ontario, that he helped initiate their glass recycling program. Fast-forward several decades, dozens of moves across the country and more than a handful of jobs — ranging from town planner in Rankin Inlet to small-town Mayor in New Brunswick — later, and you’ll meet the current Gary Smith: Manager of Development Services for the Town of Golden. Smith is replacing Cleo Corbett, who worked as the town planner for five years before moving into a position as a long-range planner for the city of Vernon last fall.Over the years Smith has gained much knowledge and experience from his different positions, but he says he still holds onto the same environmental ideals in his work, something he seemed to develop at a young age. Since graduating from the University of Waterloo with a degree in Environmental Science, Geography and Planning, Smith has lived and worked in a lot of communities across Canada, including: Waterloo, Sydney, St. Johns, Quispamsis (a town of 15,000 in New Brunswick where he acted as Mayor for three years), Rankin Inlet, Edmonton, Grand Prairie, Wetaskiwin and more. So why did he choose to move to Golden?“The opportunity became available here and I thought I could contribute a lot to the town, and vice versa. We moved here partly for the people, who we’ve found to be extremely friendly, and certainly the scenery and hiking is a big draw,” said Smith.He explained that the Town’s forward way of thinking and recent environmental projects are conducive to his own mentality, another reason why he thinks this position is a good fit.“I see this as my last planning job,” he said, “I see it as a way to put all the skills and experience I’ve learned into practice; to really make a mark.”Although Smith is just “getting his feet wet” in this position, he knows the main project he’ll be working on is bringing forward the new Zoning Bylaw, and he looks forward to the new developments. Smith has already witnessed council, staff and managers supporting each other, working well together and collaborating on innovative projects. This type of camaraderie, he said, “is really refreshing to see.”Smith and his wife, Geraldine, are still living out of their suitcases but are looking forward to moving into a permanent house at the end of March. The couple spends a lot of time travelling (and they don’t have much of a choice now, with two pregnant daughters living in Toronto), taking photos, hiking to waterfalls and watching movies in their home theatre system. Smith is also an “audio” enthusiast and collects vintage audio gear. You’ll likely see Geraldine around town as she, according to Smith, knows how to get involved in a community. She has already joined a pilates class, the seniors walking group and is getting involved with the Golden Women’s Resource Centre. As for Smith himself, you’ll know to find him at Town Hall. Welcome to Golden Gary and Geraldine.