Reynolds ends 41-year career working for Quincy
Dave Reynolds is retiring well before winter, the season of headaches for him. As the city’s maintenance supervisor for the past 12 years, most of the decisions about clearing the roads of snow were on his shoulders, and he won’t miss it.
Reynolds leaves behind his 41-year career with the city at the end of June. A public open house will be held for him and colleague Tim Snead, who is also retiring, 4-6 p.m. Friday, June 28, at City Hall.
Back in 1978, Reynolds started as a full-time employee at the industrial wastewater plant. He worked as an operator in wastewater for 18 years and he helped at the potable water plant.
At the time he also worked as a volunteer for fire and ambulance and got interested in emergency nursing. But he chose to stay with the city.
From wastewater he moved to the city’s culinary water system. Then he worked several years as the working foreman in the public works department. In 2007, he became the maintenance supervisor, and that has been his job title since, leading the public works department.
Now the city needs to find a maintenance supervisor and is opening up a public works director position at the top of the department.
“I think in the long run it will be good,” Reynolds said of the new arrangement. “There’s plenty of work to do. I think they need to really look for an individual with some credentials and good management skills to fill both my current position and the public works director job.”
Looking back at the past 12 years as maintenance supervisor, he said, “I took a great deal of pleasure and pride in some of the things we got accomplished.”
Lauzier Park was developed in that time, and “I felt I had a big hand in that,” he said. The initial park began in 2005, but a lot of it was added in phases.
“I have really enjoyed watching the community grow,” he said, though that brought the city growing pains.
“It’s funny. A lot of the infrastructure is really old and needs to be updated,” he said, “and then we’ve had this huge growth spurt where all the infrastructure is really new.”
The city is starting to spend on updating infrastructure.
However, money used to be a much bigger issue.
“There were times we had to go ask for permission from the council whether or not we could buy basketball nets for the park,” Reynolds said. “The city had no money.”
He also noted the improvement in the vehicles and equipment the public works employees have to work with.
“The last couple years I have worked very hard on our GIS system,” he said in an email. The city has been developing a digital mapping system that most of the departments can use.
“I spent many hours going out and physically collecting data points for all the hydrants, valves, manholes and meter locations for the entire city. There are literally thousands of points that had to be input to our collector system,” he said.
As in most occupations, there were downsides.
“One of my biggest frustrations was always winters here. I just grew to hate winter,” he said with a grin. “I am hoping this year I can just sit back and watch it snow and enjoy the beauty of the winter … and not worry about whether we should plow and sand.”
Every winter, residents make their opinions about plowing known, but guessing about weather is not easy.
“There are just a lot of decisions that go into the snowplow process that the public doesn’t see,” he said.
Reynolds said he will be 62 this year and he and his wife have planned for retirement. They will spend some time just enjoying their lives. His wife wants to do more Bible study instructors’ classes and speaking through the Colson Fellows Program, and he will support her in that – which might entail some travel.
With time in retirement, he can do more with his hobby of wood turning.
He said he will miss all the people he works with. The daily camaraderie of the crew meant a lot to him. He also named Roy Echavarria as a great support.
“Without Roy working in the working foreman position, I really don’t believe I could have done the job I did,” Reynolds said in an email.
At the June 18 council meeting, Reynolds thanked Quincy and the council for allowing him to make a career out of serving the community.
“I am .. sad to lay aside a career like this but at the same time I am glad that somebody else can step into my shoes,” he said. “Thanks again, and I will miss these days.”
By Dave Burgess, firstname.lastname@example.org