Big changes & big hearts
by Dale Burgos
The view at my first city council meeting
First off, I haven’t had a chance to wish you all a Happy New Year! 2024 is already shaping up to be an exciting year for the Burgos bunch.
The biggest news so far is that I have accepted a new job! As most of you know, I have been managing the communications department for a school district here in B.C. I started that job back in November of 2014 and it was the job that relocated the family from Winnipeg to Nanaimo, B.C.
Moving to a smaller city situated on the south-central edge of Vancouver Island was a big move for us. The biggest change we noticed back then was the fact that there was much less traffic to deal with. Along with less traffic, were fewer potholes! The climate is also very different where we will get the occasional “atmospheric river,” a fancy name for a lot of rain. This is typical in the winter months as we don’t often get snow.
I have really enjoyed our time here, but the job prospects are limited. To move up, I would have had to work in a bigger city, with Vancouver being the closest “big city.” I was not prepared to move or travel on a ferry every day. With that said, I was quite happy working for the school district. However, when given an opportunity to try something new and further a career, we have to take a hard look at the options, right? So, that’s what I did.
I’ve always told myself that the only job I would be 100 per cent comfortable moving to would be with local government. This would allow me to stay in Nanaimo and work in an environment similar to my time at Winnipeg’s City Hall.
You are looking at the new Manager of Corporate Communications and Community Relations for the City of Nanaimo! My cousin, Dennis Jr., always said I would be Mayor of a city one day. I guess it’s what I’ve always talked about. While I am not the Mayor, I am still working closely in the daily operations of running a city and I must tell you, the job can be overwhelming at times, but that’s where I have always felt the most comfortable. This could very well be the reason why I have no hair. It wasn’t because of genetics; it was because of five kids and a challenging career path! Most likely not the case, but it’s easy to blame my kalbo-ness to something tangible.
I spent the better part of 10 years at the school district, which was the longest I had stayed at one job. I hope to spend the same amount of time here at the City, which will bring me to retirement age. Is it too soon to talk about retirement? Maybe I’ll save that for a future article.
Spending that amount of time anywhere is a long time, and with that came all the friendships and acquaintances I had made. I had a very nice send-off, which was timed perfectly with our staff Christmas lunch. Since then, people have been sending me thoughtful messages and well wishes. I will miss those people I saw and spoke to on a daily basis – my work family if you will. Lot’s of love going around, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
At the time of writing this article, I’ve only been at the City of Nanaimo for a week and a half. There was no time for easing into the role, I’m already running at top speed and it’s just the way I like it.
Dale manages the corporate communications department for a city in B.C.