Minnis retires from Public Works

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By Nathan L. McBroom

One of Shelbyville's longest-working and most-loved city employees signed his timecard for the last time on New Year's Eve.

After 20 years on the job, Al Minnis closed out 2008 by retiring from his post as Superintendent of Shelbyville Public Works.

Minnis, 76, said he had hoped to put in a few more years on the job. However, with the drastic changes looming for the pension plans of state employees, he said decided to "play it safe" and "get out while the getting was good."

Minnis said the retiring from his job is bittersweet.

“Even at my age I still enjoyed going to work everyday,” he said. “I’ve loved his job.”

In January the Kentucky legislature is expected to restructure the state pension plan in order to make up some of an expected $460 million budget deficit.

Proposed changes range from increasing the number of years required before retirement to decreasing the percentage payout increase each year.

That’s what got Minnis thinking it was time to go.

Minnis told Mayor Tom Hardesty of his decision two weeks ago and Hardesty said the city would miss him.

“I hate to lose him,” he said. “He is just so talented at what he does.”

In his position, Minnis was responsible for the maintenance and safety of the roads and facilities in Shelbyville.

Hardesty said Minnis worked hard at his job and was great to work with.

“Just being around Al makes you feel good,” he said. “He is always upbeat and looks on the bright side of things.”

He said Minnis has left “some big shoes to fill.”

Minnis said his least favorite part of the job was having to call his workers in the middle of the night to go out and salt roads or remove downed trees from roadways.

He said his favorite part of the job was serving the people of Shelbyville.

“I enjoyed knowing that I spent my days working for the community,” he said.

In his retirement Minnis hopes to spend some time with his family and volunteering with a reading program at Simpsonville Elementary.

Minnis said his wife, Sara, also has started writing a list of things that she would like him to do around the house.

Bruce Williamson, Minnis' long time co-worker, will fill in as interim-superintendent until the Shelbyville City Council appoints a permanent replacement.