Two long-time City employees will be retiring at the end of this year. Larry Hill and Donna Sharp are both retiring from the Public Works Department on Dec. 30.
Hill to retire from Public Works after 24 years
After more than twenty-four years working for his hometown in the El Dorado Public Works Department, Larry Hill will be retiring at the end of this year.
Hill started with the City on Sept. 10, 1997, as a maintenance worker. From there he moved up to equipment operator I and now is an equipment operator II. He has been working on the concrete crew for about seven or eight years now. When the city started the concrete crew, he said he didn’t know anything about it, but he has enjoyed the challenge.
Some of the projects he’s worked on over the years include the basketball court pads at the Library park and Graham Park, as well as the sidewalk from McCollum to the middle school. He also was part of the crew that put in the concrete pad for the gazebo at East Park.
“The rewarding part is the finished product,” he said. Now when he drives around town, he enjoys seeing the projects.
Hill, who was born and raised in El Dorado, said he started working for the city for stability, having worked in the oilfield before, where he would work a week then be off a week. When he started, he didn’t dream he would be here this long, but he has enjoyed his time.
“The main thing is working with the guys every day,” he said of what he enjoys most. He added that he also likes having set hours, except during the winter months.
One thing he hasn’t enjoyed about his job is getting called out at night to plow snow. Larry said before he worked here, he enjoyed watching the snowfall, but that changed after it meant getting out in the cold to plow the streets. Now, he’s looking forward to sitting back and enjoying watching the snow again.
“I’m not one to sit around the house,” he said. During retirement, he plans to visit his brother in Oklahoma when the weather gets nicer. He and his wife also have two children and three grandchildren he will be spending time visiting.
“It’s been fun to work with them,” Hill said of his coworkers. “I wish them the best. I’ll miss them.”
“Larry has been a great addition to the Public Works Department and we are going to miss him,” said Brad Meyer, Public Works Director. “He has been involved in a variety of City projects over the years and I appreciate his dedication to the job and to the City. We wish him well in his retirement.”
Sharp to retire from Animal Shelter after 13 years
For more than thirteen years, Donna Sharp has been working to reunite animals with their owners, find animals new homes and help with any number of animal-related issues in El Dorado.
Sharp began as the Animal Shelter attendant on Sept. 29, 2008. She said she was looking for a job when she was asked if she wanted to apply for this position with the City.
“It just seemed like something I might be able to handle,” she said, although she hadn’t even been in the building before but did drive by to check it out after her interview.
“It just seemed to be a good fit to me,” said Sharp, who had a Labernard and two Terriers. “There are parts of it I love and parts of it I don’t, but I wouldn’t have traded all of this for anything.”
The job has changed over the years. Sharp said when she first started there weren’t all of the rescues there are now to help find homes for animals. She was about four to six years into the job when she met Kara Knight, who became a rescue coordinator.
“My rescue numbers versus euthanized numbers switched,” Sharp said. “She was a godsend for my animals.”
Over the years, Sharp has seen a lot of animals come through the shelter, but it is now time to focus on her own family, their health needs and her animals, which are getting older.
She also said the animal shelter attendant is a younger person’s job having to handle some of the big dogs.
“I’ve enjoyed working with everybody with the City,” she said. “It really is like one big family. Working for the city’s been great.”
Sharp also has enjoyed meeting all of the people in El Dorado. “I’ve gotten to know a lot of people and a lot of dogs,” she said as she gave a dog coming into the shelter a treat. “This is why I do it – taking care of dogs and making them feel safe. A treat often makes them think they will be OK. It’s so rewarding.”
“Donna has been a tremendous asset to the Animal Shelter,” said Brad Meyer, Public Works Director. “Her dedication to the animals is undeniable. We have been fortunate to have her in that position. We are going to miss her, but wish her well in her retirement.”