After 28 years with the city of Belleville, Director of Public Works Keith Boc retired Friday.
“(Today) is one of the biggest milestones of my life,” Boc said. “I’m turning 50 years old and retiring, both on the same day.”
Boc has worked for the city in almost every capacity within the department of public works as well as serving as the city’s acting city manager. While the work was hard at times he is grateful for all the opportunities that the job has given him.
“I’m thankful for everything I’ve gotten. A retirement, you know, they are so rare these days. I’m thankful for getting one. It’s like winning the lottery,” said Boc. “It hasn’t quite sunk in yet, it’s still kind of surreal. I started as a young man, I’m leaving as an old man. It’s been stressful at times but I’m thankful for everything.”
Looking back on his years of working for the city, Boc remembered all the positive interactions he’s had with the community.
“I sure have met a lot of nice people over the years, the residents have been really, really kind.”
One last example of that kindness was on display Friday as a resident from Harbour Pointe dropped a birthday/retirement cake off at city hall for Boc.
Boc said he hasn’t many plans for what he will do next, but does look forward to some upcoming opportunities to travel and relax in warm weather destinations.
“I just want to sit on a deck chair next to the pool and read my Kindle,” Boc said. “That’s all I’ve been thinking about.”
The city will likely temporarily appoint several people to fill Boc’s position, while searching for a permanent replacement according to City Manager Diana Kollmeyer.
Kollmeyer hopes to have several replacements approved by the city council at the March 17 meeting.
While the permanent replacement could be an internal hire, Kollmeyer said that the various licensing requirements that the state mandates for the position means
that the city will likely have to conduct a job search to find the best candidate.
Several city council members praised Boc during recent city council meetings.
“When I was not in public office, he was always responsive and courteous to me when I had issues. When I was in public office, he always was the same,” said
Councilman Tom Fielder. “I know that we’ve had our moments occasionally but I think the city is much better off for his service and I’d like to thank him.”
Kollmeyer also praised Boc.
“Keith has provided vast amounts of historical and trade knowledge in his 28 years of service. He has been a hard working employee of the City and I wish him the
very best. Keith will be missed,” she said.