It’s time. Time for me, as the city’s operations director in the Public Works Department, to pass the torch to new Operations Director Maggie Darr. On Jan. 2, I will join the ranks of the retired having served Janesville for more than 31 years. I have complete confidence that Darr will continue our tradition of providing outstanding services and continue to improve upon the efficiency and effectiveness of those services.

I have always viewed my role as that of a caretaker, ensuring that whomever was to follow in my footsteps would inherit a division that has been on a path of continuous improvement. And while I might have a biased view, I believe the current employees in the operations division, collectively, are the best with whom I’ve had the honor of serving.

They are engaged, extremely efficient, and team oriented. The work culture is outstanding, something I could not say earlier in my career. Getting to this stage has taken leadership at many different levels, and in particular with field staff. We entrust these men and women to execute tasks professionally, safely and with pride, and they perform at a high level.

I’ve been most proud of our team when the chips were down: amid destructive straight-line winds, record snowfalls and a record-setting flood. This is when public works employees really shine—as first responders.

It’s time. Thank you, Janesville! Thank you, operations division team! And best wishes, Maggie!

JOHN S. WHITCOMB

Outgoing operations director, city of Janesville

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