Public works director finishes final day

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

Harry Wang said goodbye to a job, and a place he considers his hometown.

Wang, the outgoing public works director, finished out his final day on the job after 15 years with the city, and was recognized for his service during an otherwise light Clovis City Commission meeting.

Wang accepted a city position in North Las Vegas, Nev. last month.

In summing up his 15 years — 5,393 days, by his estimate — he said he would always have a place in his heart for Clovis, and said it was the longest he’d ever stayed in one place.

“If anybody asks me where I’m from,” Wang said, “I’ll tell them Clovis.”

Wang served as public works director since 2001, when he took over for Joe Thomas, who left to become assistant city manager.

Now as city manager, Thomas said he could always trust Wang’s recommendations based on the confidence built from the previous nine years.

“We didn’t always agree,” Thomas said. “He would always tell me why, and invariably it was a pretty good reason.”

Applications for the position are open through July. Clint Hurdle, who will fill in on an interim basis, felt the next person had big shoes to fill.

“Nobody can know how much Harry knows about engineering until he tries to cram 15 years into three hours,” Hurdle said. “I’ll do my best to keep up his good work in my interim position.”

After receiving a plaque from the city and a framed photo of Clovis city employees, Wang recommended three task orders for the city. All three passed 8-0:

• Review and feasibility analysis on a mid-term landfill permit review. Wang said the work was beyond the ability of the city staff to handle, even with an adjusted deadline of Oct. 1. The $77,591.36 to pay Camp Dresser and McKee, Inc., would come from the city’s solid waste fund.

• Preparation of emergency action plans for the three dams the city owns (New Pond, Ned Houk Park and Ingram Lake). Thomas said the findings would likely be an attachment to the city’s emergency plans, but noted the chances of catastrophic damage are minimal. The $75,445.11 for Camp Dresser and McKee, Inc. would come from the city’s drainage fund.

• A bi-annual evaluation of the groundwater remediation well at the landfill. Camp Dresser and McKee, Inc. will do the review at a cost of $20,466.84, paid through the solid waste fund.