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One of Mitchell's top city officials retiring

The longtime director of Mitchell's Public Works Department, which includes trash collection, water service, street maintenance and a host of other duties, is retiring.

Tim McGannon, 57, is leaving the position after nearly 24 years. His last day will be Dec. 20.

"I really enjoyed everyone I worked with," he said. "That's probably what I'll miss."

McGannon, who started in his current position in February 1990, said he has been thinking about retirement for several years and came to a final decision a few days ago.

The search for McGannon's replacement is still in its early stages, but the city will likely begin advertising for the position in the near future, according to Mayor Ken Tracy.

Assistant Public Works Director Terry Johnson could be considered for the position if he is qualified and expresses interest, Tracy said.

McGannon's decision to retire surprised Tracy, who said he often relies on McGannon's knowledge of the city's infrastructure and budgeting process.

"I think his shoes will be hard to fill," Tracy said. "I wish him well, but I'm personally disappointed he is leaving, because he is a valuable employee."

The Public Works Department is one of the most far-reaching arms of city government. The director's duties include oversight of numerous divisions and activities, including the airport, building inspection, engineering, landfill, planning and zoning, streets, utilities, water and wastewater treatment.

Despite his 24-year tenure, there are at least 17 city employees who have been with the city longer, according to Finance Officer Marilyn Wilson.

McGannon is one of the city's highest paid employees. As of the city's required annual publication of its wages and salaries in January, McGannon, Wilson and Public Safety Chief Lyndon Overweg were each being paid an annual salary of $88,839. That's the top salary among the city's salaried employees.

McGannon said his proudest achievements include the construction of a pipeline to bring Missouri River water to Mitchell, the construction of the city's current landfill and the new 130-foot-tall,1-million-gallon water tower near Interstate 90. He also is proud of the improvements to the city's streets and sidewalks made during his tenure.

"Anything I did I stood on the shoulders of other people to do," he said. "I don't want anyone to think that I did it all."