Before Gary came to the City of Pleasant Hill, he was in the construction business for about 15 years. After going through the economic downturn, he decided it was time for a change. When a position within the Public Works Department opened up, he decided to apply for more economic stability for his family.
Gary Patterson started with the City on June 6, 1993 as the Public Works Director. The population 23 years ago was 4,285 and Public Works maintained 25 miles of city streets. Today, they maintain 60 miles with nine employees. Those nine employees have a combined total of 116 years of experience.
In 1993, City Hall was located on Oakwood Drive across from Oakwood Cemetery. Phil Hildebrand was Mayor and Shauna Riggenberg was the City Administrator.
In 1994, it moved to 5151 Maple Drive. With the growth of the City, a new City Hall was needed. In 2004, City Hall moved to where it is today, 5160 Maple Drive. In his 23 years with the City, there have been five Mayors, five administrators, five Police Chief’s, five Fire Chief’s, and one Library Director.
Like many other departments, Gary has seen significant changes over the years. When he first hired, the variety of operations within the Public Works Department is what surprised him the most. Changing work operations several times in a work day was certainly not uncommon depending on the requests from citizens within our community.
Public Works crew is doing panel replacement
The Public Works facilities have certainly grown during Gary’s time. It was once a three bay maintenance building that was so small some equipment would not fit through the overhead doors. Today it is a modern eight bay building that allows multiple repair projects to be going on at one time. This allows the equipment to be kept inside and out of Iowa’s changing weather conditions. The equipment used today is much more efficient, which makes the Public Works crews jobs easier and enables them to work smarter in their daily operations.
The Public Works facilities today
In Iowa the weather certainly changes and Gary has seen his fare share with three major snow storms, three major floods and a wind storm around 1999 that kept us picking up tree limbs for over a month. It took two weeks to get all streets cleared when the blizzard of 1999 rolled in. Gary believes this may have been the beginning of a climate change!
One of the three snow storms during Gary's time
We will leave you with this interesting fact about Gary! He participated in the Copper Creek Thriathlon in 2010. The Copper Creek Triathlon is a 750M swim, 20K bike and 5K run!