City employee to assist in hurricane recovery efforts | AspenTimes.com

City employee to assist in hurricane recovery efforts

Janet Urquhart

Scott Wilson, building manager for the Wheeler Opera House, is volunteering with the American Red Cross hurricame relief effort in Miami. (Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times)

Scott Wilson signed on to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Two hurricanes later, the Red Cross has taken him up on his offer.The multiskilled building manager at the Wheeler Opera House left Wednesday for Orlando, Fla. Today, he begins two days of training in site management for a potential assignment in Hurricane Wilma-ravaged Miami. Or he could be sent back to his home near Aspen to await a future assignment.Volunteering is apparently as unpredictable as a natural disaster.”I got a one-way ticket to Orlando without knowing, in fact, if I’ll be there for three weeks or three days,” Wilson said. “I guess I’ll pack for three weeks.”As a site manager, he could wind up running a shelter, medical facility, supply warehouse or any other makeshift facility established to help Miami in its recovery.With experience in plumbing, carpentry and electrical work, and a background as former assistant manager of the Starwood Metropolitan District’s water-treatment facility, Wilson figures he has skills to lend to a recovery effort. When the city of Aspen, his employer, sent around an e-mail regarding opportunities to volunteer with the American Red Cross in the aftermath of Katrina, he responded.”I just wanted to do something more tangible than just throwing money at the problem,” Wilson said. “I just wanted to do something hands-on.”The city has offered him paid administrative leave for the assignment, though Wilson was prepared to pay for the time away himself.”I was planning on using up every bit of sick time and vacation time,” he said, crediting city government for its support of his volunteer effort.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com

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