Kevin Ramsay has only been on the job for a few weeks, but already the city's new top civil servant has come to appreciate what people living in Port Moody have for years.
"There's very much a sense of community here, great volunteer support in this community - where people care and actually want to make a difference," he said.
And Port Moody's new city manager would know a thing or two about community.
Ramsay officially took over the job at the beginning of June, bringing with him an extensive resume of experience with local government.
His stops include the City of Vancouver, City of Surrey, District of West Vancouver and most recently District of Squamish, where he was CAO for the last three years.
It's a career spanning 30 years.
"I've had a chance to observe the good and bad of municipalities and to look at larger and smaller municipalities and how they operate," Ramsay told The NOW.
Former Port Moody city manager Gaetan Royer stepped down in August to take a job with Metro Vancouver.
In his first few weeks, Ramsay has met with council and likes what he's heard, suggesting the collective has a broad range of interests.
He's also impressed with city staff, a group he had already come to know as being highly regarded in municipal government circles prior to taking the job.
Besides a closer commute from his home in North Vancouver, Ramsay said he was ultimately drawn to the job for the challenge.
One example given by Ramsay is the Evergreen Line.
"It's a huge project that doesn't just involve the engineering side of plopping a couple stations and some track in," he said.
"It's about the development impacts that go with it, the social impacts, the public safety impacts - that is something that makes it exciting for me."
While a change at the top might signal a new way of doing business at City Hall, Ramsay doesn't appear interested in turning the apple cart into an orange tree.
"Port Moody has a great history of being the first to do things, and we want to continue to do that for the right reasons," he said.
Ramsay said his role, from an organizational perspective, will be to build a strong leadership team and have the best people in place, who are making the best decisions for the community.
But unlike other municipalities in the Lower Mainland, Port Moody is in a unique situation being a smaller member of the Tri-Cities.
Ramsay acknowledged the City of Arts has its own identity, but he sees areas where the city can team up with its Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam neighbours.
He's wasted no time, already reaching out to his counterparts at their respective city halls.
"It's critical that the city managers in the Tri-Cities have an excellent working relationship because we can find ways to help everybody and most importantly our communities," Ramsay said.
For now, the father of three and avid hockey fan said he has no immediate plans to move to Port Moody, indicating he isn't ready to uproot his kids from their school.
But Ramsay isn't ruling the possibility out either.
"It's a beautiful community that I would like to live in," he said. "There are so many wonderful places."
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