Photo contributed by the City of Red Deer Craig Curtis, Red Deer city manager (left) and Mayor Tara Veer (right) present the Bob Stollings Memorial Award to Alan Sheehan, a former city employee for his 40 years of service.

Red Deer’s traffic light installer awarded after 40 years of service

Everytime you start or stop at one of Red Deer’s many intersections, you can thank former Red Deer city employee Alan Sheehan.

On Friday, Sheehan was given the Bob Stollings Memorial Award after he spent four decades doing what he loved.

The Bob Stollings Memorial Award was established by city council in 1985 to honour Robert (Bob) E. Stollings, a loyal and dedicated employee of the City of Red Deer from 1960 to 1984.

“I was surprised,” said Sheehan. “I had no idea I was getting this award.”

Sheehan, 64, retired in February, having worked for the city since August 1977 when he first moved to Red Deer from Ireland where he was a journeyman electrician.

Along with a new home, Sheehan found a job and people he loved at the City of Red Deer.

He first started working as a foreman for the city in Electric, Light And Power before becoming foreman of substations metering and traffic control in Red Deer in the early 1980s.

During his tenure, he installed traffic signals at Red Deer’s more than 150 intersections and installed more than 44,000 power metres in both residential and commercial parts of the city. He was also responsible for maintaining both traffic lights and metres with his crew of about six people.

Kristy Svoboda, director of human resources with the City of Red Deer, said Sheehan also represented city’s electric, light and power employees as part of a union and often the two were across from each other at the negotiating table.

“He was very respectful – we always had good robust discussions at the bargaining table,” she said.

“He had the trust of his coworkers, he was funny, just was a prince of a guy.”

Sheehan said he doesn’t miss being called in late nights to fix a traffic light or a power metre, but if given the chance, he would do it all over again.

Now he spends that time with his two grown sons and three grandchildren.

More than 120 city employees were recognized at the Employee Awards Banquet on Friday, for their continuous years of service and special achievements. Award recipients included Matt Brideau, Lead Operator – Wastewater Collection for the RISE-ing Star Award; the Office Supply Project Team for the Innovation Award, and Charlaine Rausch, Corporate Events Specialist for the Green Tribute Award.

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