Saugatuck Honors DPW's Bruce Simonson; City Planning Director Mike Clark To Resign
With a simple exclamation of “Amazing!” Saugatuck Mayor Bill Hess summarized Bruce Simonson’s 50 years of service to the City of Saugatuck.
The Saugatuck council on Monday read a proclamation recognizing the popular and hard-working head of the city’s public works department.
In honor Simonson’s dedication, the city is holding an open house on Friday, April 24 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the public works building, 3338 Blue Star Highway.
“We are asking all folks to share fond memories of Bruce, and if they can’t make it to the open house, to send their fond memories to the city office so that we can put them on our Book of Memories,” Saugatuck City Clerk Monica Nagel told The Local Observer Tuesday.
Simonson began his career with the city on April 26, 1965, when he was 18 years old. Sixteen years later he was promoted to superintendent, continuing in that position for the past 34 years, states the proclamation.
But even way before he formally worked for the city, Simonson was already taking care of his town.
“He started plowing roads for the city when he was eight years old,” said Saugatuck City Manager Kirk Harrier.
Nagel detailed that anecdote for newspaper, noting, “He created a makeshift snowplow of plywood and wheels. He plowed Butler Street from Mason to Culver streets. He told the public works’ employees then to please let him plow a side of the street because he wanted to “watch the snow fly.”
Notwithstanding all the current praise, Simonson is not the type of person who would accept admiration without extending gratitude to his colleagues.
“Bruce will be the first one to acknowledge all the years Blair VanOss has put in. It must be 40-plus years; he joined the department right after high school,” noted Saugatuck City Council Member Mark Bekken of another long-time public works employee.
In other staff-related business for the City of Saugatuck, officials announced on Monday Saugatuck City Planning Director Mike Clark recently submitted his 30-day resignation.
“What a great loss for the city,” said Saugatuck Mayor Pro Tem Chris Peterson.
Clark is moving out of state; he and his wife have found full-time work elsewhere, Saugatuck City Manager Kirk Harrier noted.