Cattle Call: Randy Call celebrates retirement after 36 years with Road and Bridge
Simply put, Randy Call was cowed by the amount of people who turned out to send him off Thursday afternoon.
And, not just because of the headwear many of them were sporting.
Call was the guest of honor in Craig City Hall’s council chambers as part of a celebration to commemorate the director of the Road and Bridge Department’s 36 years of service.
Call noted that technically his retirement comes after 36 years and 51 weeks, just a few days short of 37.
First joining the department March 7, 1983, Call has seen an abundance of people move through Road and Bridge throughout the years, and it’s the fellow workers he’ll miss the most as he leaves his position.
“Some of those guys have worked for me for 30 years, and I’ll miss them. They’ve told me I need to come by and see them every once in a while, and I will,” he said. “I just know that I’ve been here long enough, and I’m old enough that I’m gonna hang it up here.”
Shane Baker will be serving as the interim director for Road and Bridge.
“I have a lot to learn and it’s going to be a little overwhelming, but I’m up for the challenge,” Baker said.
With 15 years in the department, Baker has spent plenty of time alongside Call.
“He’s a great teacher,” Baker said.
Road and Bridge employees and Call himself were festooned with specially made baseball caps complete with cow print, some with horns and a snout and others with the day’s slogan: “Moovin’ on to Greener Pastures.”
“I want to thank that bunch of guys with those screwy hats on, because without them I never would have made it this far,” Call said during a speech. “They’re a great bunch of guys, and they always made me look good.”
A sheet cake with the same phrase also awaited the crowd of area officials, friends and well-wishers, the baked good also serving as an indication of Call’s future.
While he’ll be moving away from the full-time grind of Road and Bridge, he’ll still be hard at work as he turns his attention more toward working with cattle.
“There’s a lot of things I haven’t gotten done that I can get finished now if I decide to, a lot of little projects,” he said.
However, he’ll also take some time to relax.
“I like to fish, so I’ll have a little more time to do that now,” he said.
Mayor Jarrod Ogden presented Call with a plaque in honor of his time with the department, having crossed paths with him quite a bit during recent years with city government.
Ogden stated that a great Road and Bridge Department as a whole comes from great leadership.
“Some of you have known him a long time, and it’s hard to say enough good about somebody like Randy. He’s done a phenomenal job for us for 36 years,” Ogden said. “He’s got a lot of knowledge, and I think that’s my fear as mayor of this fair city that we’re losing a lot of knowledge with Randy. We did tell him that we’d keep his number, and if that doesn’t work, we’ll just get him a new phone and find him and give it to him.”
As if on cue, Call mimed discarding his cellular device to laughs from the crowd.
City Manager Peter Brixius also spoke highly of Call’s expertise in his role and the dedication to serving Craig.
“Gonna miss this guy,” Brixius said. “He’s been a great help to me, and I don’t think I’d have come this far without him.”
Brixius added that he believes Call’s knowledge of the city charter, municipal code and personnel manual rivals nearly everyone in the city government.
“When it came to defending the workforce and holding our feet to the fire, he knew his stuff. Not only did he know what was going on there, he knew what was going on out in the field continually, and the intellectual capital that he walks out with — it’s gonna take a while to replace,” Brixius said.
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