Pella Chronicle

Local News

December 26, 2013

Christian takes over as County Engineer

(Continued)

Knoxville —

With that, Christian has always had the thought of becoming County Engineer in the back of his mind. The opportunity was not available when he finished college, at least not in Central Iowa. He and Sarah wanted to stay in the area. While Christian was still in college, Sarah was offered a teaching job in Nevada, where the couple continues to make their home. They are trying to sell their home and find one in Marion County. 

Christian is grateful for the opportunity to work as Marion County Engineer. He plans to make a long-term career here. Not only is Marion County home, but Christian believes the County is in a really good position, financially and organizationally. It's a good place to come to work. 

Christian has been working under Schletzbaum for a few weeks. He said he dived in "head first," and has already learned what it takes to handle snow events. The department's responsibility during winter weather goes beyond plowing, and he praised Schletzbaum's work in maintaining good salt and sand supplies for the County. 

This is also the time of year County departments prepare their annual budgets for the Board of Supervisors' approval, and Schletzbaum has worked closely with Christian on the Secondary Roads budget. 

The experience Schletzbaum and other senior members of the department loaned to this process for Christian was been very helpful, he said. He is confident that he will be ready to prepare the next budget on his own. 

The Marion County Secondary Roads Department is responsible for maintaining 950 miles of roads. This excludes City streets and state highways. Christian said he believes the majority of the County roads are in good condition, due to the good work Schletzbaum and staff have done over the years, but there is always room for improvements. He will continue to try to offer the best level of service to County residents, within the restraints of the department's budget. 

Meeting the needs and a strong level of service to residents is seen as the most challenging aspect of the position, according to Christian. The most rewarding aspect of the new job, for him, is the ability to expand his career in a place where he has a vested interest, in the county in which he enjoyed being a resident. 

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