Public works director to retire after 32 years

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times
Mike McDonald stands in the Public Works Department at Leavenworth City Hall. McDonald will retire next week from his job as the public works director and city engineer after more than 32 years with the city of Leavenworth.

After more than 32 years with the city of Leavenworth, Mike McDonald said he still loves his job as public works director and city engineer. But he says, “It’s time to go do something different while I still can.”

McDonald will retire from his job next week.

McDonald began working for the city in September 1988. McDonald said he was interested in the public works director job because Leavenworth had the resources to build things.

“That’s kind of what I always wanted to do – build things,” he said.

The city manager at the time reviewed with McDonald plans for streets, sewers, sidewalks and municipal buildings.

More than 32 years later, McDonald has had a hand in many projects in the city. Two of the most significant have been the construction of the 20th Street Trafficway and extension of large sewer lines to southwest Leavenworth, which enabled growth in that area.

He also points to bank stabilization projects as among the many activities he has been involved in during his time with the city.

“The creeks flow more naturally,” he said.

McDonald said the creation of a stormwater utility fee also is a significant change that has occurred during his tenure.

The son of an Army soldier, McDonald attended Oregon State University. He previously worked for a couple of private firms and the cities of Salem, Oregon, and Winslow, Arizona.

McDonald said he will miss working with talented city employees. He also will miss building things for the city. He said there are a lot of exciting stormwater projects planned in the city.

“I’m not leaving the area,” McDonald said.

In his retirement, he plans to take care of home maintenance issues that he previously put off. He also plans to devote more time toward hobbies.

McDonald is being replaced by Brian Faust.

Faust, former city engineer for Topeka, is scheduled to start his new job today, according to Leavenworth City Manager Paul Kramer.

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