Morrison another key retirement

It appears 2019 (and the early part of 2020) was the year of retirement, as Custer County lost some stalwart employees who long served at their various places of employment. The year started with the retirement of “Sully” Sullivan, the affable UPS driver who delivered to Custer for many years. Longtime postmaster Larry Stalder also called it a career in 2019, and the city recently lost another big name in the public service realm as city public works director Bob Morrison retires from that capacity Friday.
Morrison served as public works director for 18 years and worked for city public works for 23 years total. He is going to be incredibly hard to replace (although he has agreed to stay on part-time until a new public works director is found) and whoever follows him will have some big shoes to fill. The range of knowledge the city public works director has to have at the ready is staggering.
Morrison has really been the only person we have been able to consistently go to at the city for information. Mayors have come and gone, city council members have come and gone and other department heads have come and gone. The one constant has been Bob Morrison. He has always been more than helpful in allowing us interviews and to pepper him with questions about snow removal, setting up for an event or even how much trash is generated during the Sturgis Motorycle Rally.
That’s the amazing thing about the public works director; the spectrum of things Morrison has had to do ranges from picking up trash to knowing how the wastewater treatment plant works or being able to fix things at the plant when something goes wrong. The institutional knowledge and general knowledge of the intricacies and quirks of wells, equipment, etc., is something that can be garnered only over time, not in a book or classroom. That will be the hardest thing for the city to replace. Luckily for the next public works director, Morrison will be around to pass on some of that knowledge.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the retirement of Custer County Highway Department superintendent Gary Woodford, as well. He, too, has been a go-to person for us over his nine years as highway superintendent. He was never too busy to stop in or pick up the phone to answer our questions. He, too, will be missed, but we welcome new superintendent Jess Doyle. We’re already working on getting his cell phone number.
Happy retirement to Morrison, Stalder, Sullivan, Woodford, former Black Hills National Forest supervisor Mark Van Every, former Wind Cave National Park superintendent Vidal Davila and anyone we may have forgotten. Enjoy the sweet life!

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