Bruce Shipley retired as General Manager on September 30, 2013, after almost 10 years at the helm.
Bruce has come up with ideas that paid his salary 10 times over,” Chairman Paul Bird said at a HWU board meeting. “He has saved this utility millions and millions of dollars.”
But he’s gotten a lot accomplished during the time he’s been here. One of the biggest, of course is the long-term control plan, which is a series of huge projects mandated by state and federal regulators to stop raw sewage from flowing into the Ohio River during periods of heavy rainfall.
The separation of sewers in the downtown area was a part of that plan, which eliminated most of the long-standing odor problems, as is the large sewer line being built along Canoe Creek.
Bruce Shipley didn’t do all that by himself, of course, but he provided leadership and helped set priorities. And all along he sounded a warning klaxon about how all the money being spent on satisfying the feds is leaving HWU in a dangerous position. Money also needs to be spent on keeping the regular system in good operating condition, he has said on numerous occasions.
But all the while he has been taking care of business at HWU he has not taken his eye off the ball. “Those of you that know me well understand how much I love my job and how passionate I am about our utility, so you know that the decision to retire at this time was not made lightly,” he said in his resignation letter. “It is time for me to move forward and focus my time and attention on my wife and family and some altogether new challenges, like being a top-notch grandpa.
“I want to be able to spend time with my wife and family before it gets to the point where we just have to sit on the porch and look at each other.”
A job and a career are important aspects of a good life, and Shipley has made his mark in that arena. But family is more important. And in choosing family over career he has demonstrated what type of man he is.