Roger Woodward, superintendent of Vandalia’s public works department, said he doesn’t know what he’ll do.
“Frankly, I don’t know that I have ever retired before,” Woodward joked.
He is on the final stretch of his 20 year career with the City of Vandalia. He officially retires on January 31.
“I’ve been in the stirrup for a long time,” Woodward said. “I would suspect if the daughter-in-laws will have me, I will probably go try to help the children with their houses, painting or different things that they might need done. Otherwise, it’s hard to tell what mom and I will do.”
His sons, Mark and David, have youngsters and Woodward’s expecting another grandchild in March, so he said there is more to look forward to than just retiring.
But, Woodward said he’s easy to please and he and wife, Arliene, won’t have trouble filling the upcoming days of leisure.
As for the 20 years he has been with the City of Vandalia, Woodward said the story isn’t about him.
He said the success he’s had as superintendent of Vandalia’s public works has more to do with the dedication and support of his wife and the people he has had the pleasure to work with.
“I haven’t done anything spectacular here,” Woodward said. “I have had very good support from a boss that was very supportive and not afraid to correct me when I was wrong and help guide me. I have had really good support from the board of aldermen with a shrinking budget each year.”
He said the support of his crew was also crucial in the day-to-day works of the department.
“I’ve had guys behind me that instead being negative and being apprehensive had said ‘okay, lets go’ and followed me,” he said. “It’s not about me or what I’ve done. It’s what the city is doing with the dedication of the employees that get up in the night and go fix these thing and do it without complaining. It’s the dedication that they have. If you do want to do it, it won’t fly. You have to want to.”
He said the whole city has helped us.
“I really appreciate the support the residents have demonstrated throughout the years,” Woodward said. “I appreciate their understanding about the budget constraints that small towns like Vandalia face, that sometimes we’re unable to respond to absolutely everything that we would like to. The pressures that Alan (Winders) is under each year to make a limited amount of money go as far as it could go and step up to the prioritization of those things is very difficult and I think that he has done a great job of that. I think the board has done a great job of helping decide. We set goals and everybody voices they’re ideas of what direction we need to go each and every year. We don’t have the infinite amount of resources that maybe we once had and I appreciate the folks that have taken the time to understand and realize that. We’re very cognisant of the fact that people want the best use for their tax money.”