BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Fort Madison City Manager David Varley confirmed Wednesday evening that Public Works Director Larry Driscoll has submitted his resignation.
Driscoll’s submited his resignation Tuesday morning and indicated his last day will be Nov. 8. Varley said Driscoll will be heading to the Cedar Rapids area to work in that city’s water department.
“It will be a tough position to fill, especially if you want someone in water, because they tend to stay in that area so it’s gonna be tough,” Varley said.
“I’m gonna have to start praying to get some direction. I hate to see him go. It will be a big loss and I can’t say enough about what he’s done for the city.
Varley said Driscoll has some water certification and licensing that he wants to put to good use and is looking forward to being able to wear just one hat.
Driscoll ushered in the city’s renovation of the waste water treatment plant, while at the same time running the street department. When John Luna retired from running the city’s park and recreation department, Driscoll assumed those responsibilities as well.
Varley said he thinks Driscoll will be looking forward to working for one boss and not having the public pressure of his position.
“I think it’s just he’s been working in a city environment for so many years and he’s ready for a change. He doesn’t have to deal with all he does now, he can go to work and do his job and he doesn’t get hammered as much,” Varley said.
Filling the position will require Varley to look outside of current staff in the departments.
“We’ll have to go outside with his wide array of skills. We’ve got good people in those departments, but not one person with a water license, plus knowledge of streets, knowledge of parks, and all the other odd jobs Larry had.”
Varley said he would need to work up a job description and start the search process quickly.
Randolph agreed that it was going to be a big loss for the city.
It’s a huge hole and a huge deficit that we’re going to have to fill. In that same tone, fortunately for Larry he’s got some really good supervisors underneath him in those departments that will be able to pick up that void and keep us running,” Randolph said. “I don’t want to discredit those guys. They will be instrumental for us.”
Driscoll was hired in 2012 just after Randolph was appointed Mayor. Randolph said the city, at that point, was trying to figure a way to improve operations.
“Lo and behold, we come across Larry and now he’s manning four departments, the catchall for everything else – FEMA, smaller projects, and helping with the cruise lines, P.O.R.T., Central Park, Rotary,” he said.
“He just has such a vast knowledge and a really great understanding of all those things. We did ask a lot of him and he’s going to be missed.”
Filling Driscoll’s spot may cause the city to revisit past consolidations, unless that rare person can be found, Randolph said.
“It will be difficult if that person is out there. It may force the city to look at how we had consolidated things or whether we want to break that apart and fill that void. We may not be able to keep that the same way.”
Attempts to reach Driscoll for this story Wednesday night were unsuccessful.