Hogg ends 2 decades with cityPublished 12:02am Friday, June 28, 2013
Jim Hogg has a new job.
He is his family’s official grass cutter, or so says his wife, Darlene, of his retirement plans.
Hogg, who has headed the city’s public works department for two decades, was honored with a reception at city hall Thursday afternoon. Former Mayor Paul Armstrong, who hired Hogg in 1993, was among those gathered to wish him well.
“I turned Paul down about three times,” Hogg recalled. “When he hired me, he told me, ‘I don’t care what you do, just keep the trash and the garbage picked up.’ ”
It was instruction Hogg must have taken to heart, according to Mayor Earl Johnson.
“I tell people all the time, ‘If you need something picked up, put it out beside the road. But don’t stay there long, or they’ll pick you up, too.’ ”
Johnson praised Hogg’s work ethic and attitude.
“He has never said, ‘It’s not my job,’ ” Johnson said. “If it needed to be done, he and his crew just got in there and got it done.”
Hogg has a reputation among city employees for making equipment last a long time.
“I think he’s still driving the truck he had when he started in ’93, and it was 20 years old then,” Johnson quipped.
Hogg’s work ethic, and the ethic he expects from others, was evident even as he expressed his thanks to family members gathered to celebrate his retirement with him.
After introducing his wife, his sister, brother-in-law, niece and great-niece, he said, “And that’s my son, James. He just got started at work, so I don’t know what he’s doing here. I don’t want him to miss anything.”
James Hogg, a recent Auburn grad, just went to work at PowerSouth.
Looking back, Jim Hogg said he was broken in to the new job quickly.
“About the first two weeks after I started, we had an ice storm,” he recalled. “Then in ’95, he had a hurricane (Opal). So I got broken in quick.”
Armstrong said Hogg has been key in many good things that have happened in the city.
“I’ll tell you this. A lot of people give me credit for lots of things that happened back in the 1990s,” he said. “I didn’t do it without the help of a lot of people, and Jim was one of them The best thing we did as a council was hire him. It was the first time the city really had an engineer, and it was money well spent.”
Hogg also praised Glenn Ralls, who will now leads public works for the city.
“There’s a good one taking my place,” he said.