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Commissoner of Public Services Announces Retirement Date

Post Date:01/16/2019 9:00 AM

Medicine Hat – Karen Charlton, Commissioner of Public Services, has announced her retirement after a 41-year career with the City of Medicine Hat. 

Raised in Medicine Hat, Charlton began her time with the City as a 16-year-old playground leader in Lions Park. Her first full-time post began on July 7, 1977 as a supervisor in the City of Medicine Hat Daycare System. Her office was located in the Veiner Centre, where there was a child care centre on site.

“Back then, the City managed a number of daycare centres throughout the community,” says Charlton. “A lot has changed obviously, but the desire to build a community of choice has always remained.”

Over the years, she held several positions within the organization – all within Public Services – including Manager of Cultural Services, Manager of 911, Social Development Manager, and General Manager of Community Development. In 2013, she became the Commissioner of Public Services.

With a career spanning five decades, Charlton is no stranger to change. “Medicine Hat has evolved a great deal. When I started working, both the Moose and Hockey Hounds rec centres were outdoor rinks, and all of the desks at City Hall had ashtrays on them,” recalls Charlton. Her time at the City also saw major developments like the Family Leisure Centre, the Esplanade, Canalta Centre, two fire stations, and the Veiner Centre. “I’ve seen Medicine Hat transform from a quiet, prairie city into a destination for culture and sport with amazing facilities, festivals and events.” 

In addition to her work with the City, Charlton also served as a trustee with Medicine Hat Public School Division for 12 years, including six as the board chair. She has also sat as chair of the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association and the Canadian Child Care Federation.

The impact of her career has not gone unnoticed by others. 

“Over the years, Karen’s contributions to the City have been tremendous. She brings a special perspective to her work because this is her hometown – she cares about Medicine Hat and has always worked tirelessly to make it a better place,” says Mayor Ted Clugston. “We will miss her energy, her wit, and her passion for this community and its people.”

Perhaps most noteworthy for Charlton is the people she has met.

“I’ve had some time to reflect on my career here, and I realized I have worked with 13 different Councils,” says Charlton. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many community-minded leaders and truly excellent public servants. There have been ups and downs of course, but I could not have asked for a better place to grow-up, both personally and professionally.”

Charlton’s last day with the City will be March 29.

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For media inquiries, please contact:
Colleen Graham
Corporate Communications Manager

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