After 36 years including the last decade as City Supervisor, Mike Buckman is working his last day today. Due to an early retirement, Buckman will remain an employee into February of 2020, but will serve in more of a consultant capacity after Wednesday. He began July 14th back in 1980 in the Electric Department and after 26 years in service finally took the Supervisor position created under the David Port administration. His responsibilities the last 10 years.
“Day to day operations…everything concerning infrastructure. Electric, water, sewer, streets, sidewalks, trees, you name it. Anything that needs addressed.”
He’s looking forward now to being able to do some things being that busy has kept him from.
“We’ve been invited a lot of times different areas that I’ve never been able to go and of course, I pastored for 26 years so I was always tied up on weekends, so now that I’m retired and we’re in good health, we’re gonna do some traveling with family. Just normal retirement. I don’t know what it’s like. I’ve worked since I was 12 years old and this Friday I’ll be 65. So, I’m kinda ready for it. Fortunately, the city of Carmi has been good to my family and we’ve been able to make a good living so we’re gonna be able to retire and enjoy life.”
I also asked Buckman what should the city be looking for in it’s next Supervisor. He had it narrowed down to 3 very important characteristics.
“First of all, you gotta be honest. I’ve got a note already on my desk that says ‘to whom may sit in this chair’, 1) honesty, 2) integrity, and 3) character and you’ll never lose. Be honest and upfront with people…that’s the most important thing. If you can tell people yes, that’s great, if you have to tell ‘em no, be nice but tell ‘em no.”
Mayor Pollard has served either as alderman or mayor during Buckman’s entire tenure as city supervisor. He says it’s going to be difficult to find someone with the knowledge that Buckman brought to the table.
“He’s like the right hand man and it’s going to be hard to replace. And I don’t know how quick we’re going to even get to that.”
Pollard says there’s nobody on staff that makes sense as a quick fix there. Hand in hand with that, with Buckman technically on staff until February, it’s not feasible to hire someone immediately. Beyond that, the mayor says there are some things about the position he would like to change and it sounds like his administration will have about half a year to decide what the position will look like moving forward and either hire or groom an individual from within to fill that role.