After 40 years working at local municipalities, city executive director of Finance, Assets and Fleet Ed Stankiewicz is retiring effective at the end of the day on Friday.
His contributions to the City of Greater Sudbury were recognized at the close of Tuesday’s city council meeting, sparked by Mayor Brian Bigger’s announcement that it was to be Stankiewicz’s final city council meeting as a municipal employee.
“Your expertise amongst your peers is well-recognized,” Bigger said, adding that the municipality has long benefited from Stankiewicz’s experience and dedication.
“You have walked us through how many budgets?” Ward 12 Coun. Joscelyne Landry-Altmann said. “Every time I asked you a question you always took the time, and your professional demeanor and your attention to detail was very helpful and supportive, and I’m sure that’s the same thing that’s occurring throughout the whole corporation because of your attitude.”
On Wednesday, Stankiewicz told Sudbury.com that he didn’t expect city council to draw attention to his impending retirement or to say the nice things they said.
“I do appreciate the support I have received from council over the years, and it was nice – it really was,” he said of the previous night’s meeting. “I was just doing my job to the best of my ability, but if that’s how they felt, that’s good.”
A self-proclaimed “quiet guy,” he said he hasn’t planned any big celebrations for his retirement and will simply ease into it with his wife, Teri, with whom he hopes to do some international travelling.
Born and raised in Sudbury, Stankiewicz started his municipal career in information technology at the Region of Sudbury and shifted between that organization and the City of Sudbury over the course of the City of Greater Sudbury’s pre-amalgamation years.
In addition to landing a career, he also met Teri at the Region of Sudbury, where she was also employed at the time. The pair had twin girls in 1996 and a son in 2000.
In 1990, Stankiewicz was hired to a budget co-ordinator position, which he said was more closely tied into his passion for finance, and has worked his way up the ranks since that time to his current role of executive director of Finance, Assets and Fleet.
“The people I work with are excellent at what they do and they make my job easy,” he said.
Much has changed over the years, with the biggest changes being a wide-ranging provincial property assessment in 1998 and the 2001 amalgamation of area municipalities that created the City of Greater Sudbury.
With employees from all the dissolved municipalities applying for positions at the newly formed City of Greater Sudbury, he said he was thankful to retain the position he held in his capacity with the Region of Sudbury at the time.
The most recent city developments have been two major points of borrowing, including securing $200 million in 2020 for major projects, which carried a record-low interest rate of 2.41 per cent over 30 years. This year’s $103 million in debt was secured at a rate of 3.457 per cent.
“In both cases we got low interest rates, so we’re fortunate to have gone out to the market when we did,” Stankiewicz said, noting that if they were to take out similar loans this week they’d come with an interest rate of approximately 4.2 per cent.
“It’s almost impossible to time the market,” he said. “We were fortunate to have gone out when we did.”
A Director of Finance / Chief Financial Officer position has been posted online with a closing date of April 29, so it remains to be seen who will attempt to fill Stankiewicz’s shoes.
His advice, to both his replacement and to whatever city council is elected on Oct. 24, is to keep an eye on the city’s reserve funds, which he described as “considerably lower than our peers in the province.”
Stankiewicz was behind a recent policy approved by city council a couple years ago to fund its reserves by one per cent of the previous year’s tax levy, which would total approximately $3.14 million this year, with the first allocation under the policy set to take place next year.
It’ll be up to city council as to whether they follow through with the allocation, but he said it’s important “so we have something to fall back on” in the event a projected required immediate funds to secure federal and/or provincial contributions, for example.
Although he has some points of advice for those who move the municipality beyond this week, Stankiewicz said he’s confident there’s a solid team of people at Tom Davies Square qualified to ease the department through this transition period.
“The staff in place at finance are very capable of providing advice to council on financial issues.”
After receiving accolades from Bigger during Tuesday night’s meeting, Stankiewicz was quick to note that he appreciates the support he has received over the years.
“I’ll always cherish my time here at the CIty of Greater Sudbury.”
Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for Sudbury.com.