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Newspaper Archive of
Shelton Mason County Journal
Shelton, Washington
Mason County Journal
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News of Mason County, WA
October 2, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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October 2, 2014
 

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Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014 -Mason County Journal- Page A-17 continued from page A- 1 Belfair sewer systems, retired Tuesday, 30 years afLer he first started working as a water- and sewer-system operator for the county. "The most memorable (times) are some of the people I've met, some of the characters," he said. "It's given me a unique perspective of what's out there in Mason County." His first day on the job was Oct. 1, 1984. In the past three de- cades, Moore has been instrumental to the de- velopment of the county's infrastructure, said Pub- lic Works Director Brian Matthews. "He's been a wonderful resource and co-worker," Matthews said Sept. 25 at a reception to celebrate Moore's retirement and 62nd birthday. Most recently, Moore was the interim county Public Works director in 2011 and managed the construction of the Belfair wastewater treatment plant and sewer system. All The Fun? To Advertise call 426-4412 Mason Count, } ores 'q hat, as late in my ca- reer as it was, was a real learning experience for me," he said. Moore also gave Mat- thews valuable advice about working for a gov- ernment organization. Matthews said Moore told him to think of eel- grass, which sways with the tidewaters. "How do you survive working for local govern- ment? It takes some flex- ibility," Matthews said. Moore's replacement, Erika Schwender, starts Nov. 3. Schwender most recently worked for the New Mexico Environment Department. When Moore came to Mason County, he was the county's first full-time water and sewer operator. For his first three months on the job he worked for $5 an hour. He managed county sewer systems at Beard's .ay on Cove in Belfair, Rustle- wood in Grapeview and Hartstene Pointe on Harstine Island. In his spare time, Moore was also instructed to maintain and keep the grass neatly mowed at county parks. "They gave me a John Deere lawnmower," he said. "The regulations and monitoring at the treat- ment plants, they weren't that sophisticated back then." Moore also occasion- ally performed building inspections. At the time, the county's General Ser- vices Department included many functions that now are independent depart- ments, such as parks, facil- ities, planning, solid waste, utilities and the count, s health department. "We did what we had to do." he said. "It's really grown a lot." Moore said the entire department included about VWe invite you to be the power that makes great things '~ happen by living united and investing in what matters today; bdnging neighbors and resources together to advance the common good dght here n., Mason County. 221 W. Railroad Ave. Suite-I 2, Shelton, WA 98584 360-426-4999 unitedwaymas~nco.org VolunteerMason.org Like us on Facebook. LIVE UNITED Unl~cl W~ of M4~m (ounty 10 employees. Today, Pub- lic Works alone has its own building on U.S. Highway 101 and has more than two dozen employees. Moore spent his past few days on the job com- piling information for staff and draining lists of upcoming projects. Not all of his experi- ences in 30 years -- his institutional knowledge of Public Works -- can be compiled in an email or computer file, he said. "That's one thing that will likely be lost, not that we don't have records," Moore said. "I hope they (call me). If I can help, I will. I sure want to pass that along." Moore has compiled more than paperwork in his 30 years at the county. He has collected three key rings packed with dozens of keys of all shapes and sizes that used to go to county pump houses and Grain-fed Rib Steak or Roast } sewer systems. Moore said he's never thrown away a key as long as he's worked for the county. "Every one of these keys I used at one point in time, and I have no idea where they go now," he said. Now Mason County owns and manages utili- ties at Beard's Cove, North Bay and Rustlewood. The systems have gotten big- ger over the years, and they've also gotten more technical, Moore said. '%Vhen I learned my trade it was analog, and since the digital age, things have changed a lot," he said. "It took me a long time to be self-taught." When he first started, the sewer plants had care- takers to keep an eye on operations and rudimen- tary alarms to alert oper- ators to high water levels and other problems. "As technology ad- vanced, we were able to monitor a different set of functions," he said. However, Moore said there is no substitute for a good operator. "I've probably got the best crew I've ever had worki 4 for us now," he said. "If (the computer) doesn't tell you what's wrong, you have to kind of be a sleuth; you ha'~e to figure it out." Moore and his wife, Peggy, plan to continue living at their lakefront home on Mason Lake at least part-time. "Ill probably fix the leak in the upstairs bath- room," Moore said, when asked what he would do first after retiring. The couple plans to travel to Nevada and to visit family in Yakima and Texas. Moore said he will miss his co-workers. "I guess the hardest part is not being around the people," he said. 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