Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Longtime public works director retiring in spring

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 1/27/2014

He has organized snow removal efforts, orchestrated street repairs, overseen upgrades at the municipal airport, lent a helping hand to the downtown beautification project and shepherded dozens of other projects on the City of Ottawa’s behalf.

Now, Andy Haney said, it’s time to map out his retirement.   

He has organized snow removal efforts, orchestrated street repairs, overseen upgrades at the municipal airport, lent a helping hand to the downtown beautification project and shepherded dozens of other projects on the City of Ottawa’s behalf.

Now, Andy Haney said, it’s time to map out his retirement.   

Haney, 62, plans to retire in mid-March as the city’s public works director after nearly 25 years in the position. His last day on the job in March has not yet been set, he said.

Haney, who became the city’s public works director in August 1989, said his mother has some health issues and he plans to spend some time with her in southern Alabama.

“I certainly understand and respect Andy’s decision,” Richard Nienstedt, Ottawa city manager, said. “In 25 years, he’s left a big imprint on the city, and he’s seen a lot of projects to fruition.”

Nienstedt, who received Haney’s retirement notice Friday, said he was going to be deliberate and thorough in his search for Haney’s successor.

“This is all preliminary right now, but we’ll probably have an internal review and I’ll visit with people inside and outside the organization,” Nienstedt said. “It’s been 25 years since we’ve filled this position and the community has moved ahead in 25 years, so I want to visit with community leaders and see what strengths they would like to see in a public works director. Then we’ll put a profile together and start advertising.”

The city has a good public works department, Nienstedt said, and he expressed confidence in the employees’ abilities to carry on the duties of the department at a high level in the interim.

Haney also said he would be glad to offer his assistance during the transition period.

“Andy has a vast amount of knowledge in a lot of areas,” Nienstedt said, “and I appreciate Andy’s support and assistance in the time I’ve been here.”

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