City hires from within for utilities director

The City has a new utilities director.

Jen Fretz, who has worked her way up through the municipal ranks, is the new leader for streets, sewers and water.

City administrator David Trawin said the first round of interviews involved six candidates. By round two, it was down to Fretz and an outside applicant.

"From my point of view, Jen was the dark horse coming into the second round. She performed admirably in the interview and questioning and the paces we put her through," he said.

"We were looking for a communicator and a team builder."

Despite Fretz being the underdog, she came out on top when it came to personality tests and managers' input, he said.

Fretz has been with the City for 10 years. Her last position was as manager of sustainability and environmental services.

She replaces Tracy Kyle, who ran the department for a year before leaving for family reasons. David Duckworth, who is now community and corporate affairs director, was utilities head before Kyle.

Trawin said the new job starts immediately.

Fretz also showed her mettle in the past year as she took on responsibility for the City's trades department - an area she knew nothing about, he said.

"She's done great there. Put her head down, proved her worth," he said.

Fretz said she just learned about her promotion on Friday morning. She tried for it because of the skills she sees in the department.

"I saw the possibilities in the team here. We've been on a bit of a roller coaster ride for the last little while. I know the possibilities and the players. I think my style fits what we need," she said.

"There are some tweaks I want to make from an organizational perspective, nothing major, but to make things a bit more efficient, then work with staff to bring together a strong team. We have some fantastic people here."

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