Jim Gallogly set to
retire after 22 years with City of Northville
asked what he does, Jim Gallogly, director of the Department of Public
Works, quips that he’s the town janitor.
In reality, he has a
domain that includes clearing leaves and snow from City streets as well
as repaving them; working with utilities to ensure that people have
clean, accessible, affordable water and functioning sewage lines; and
maintaining and repairing City-owned facilities and properties. It’s a
tall order for one man with a staff of only six.
His last day
will be Jan. 11, the day he turns 66. The vacancy will be filled on an
interim basis by Chris Porman, who also is DPW director for the City of
Being a civil engineer with B.S. degrees in
construction technology from Purdue and in engineering from Tri State
University, he knows what it takes to build a road or install a new
sewer line. Yet, he also has to manage the finance and accounting
portion – paying contractors on time and preventing cost over-runs. His
master’s degree in public administration from Western Michigan
University helps with that aspect.
Prior to joining the
Northville City staff in May 1995, Gallogly worked for the cities of
Battle Creek and Kalamazoo, and for a consulting firm.
job, he frequently interacts with the Downtown Development Authority
(DDA), neighborhoods, City Council and the Beautification Commission,
schools, the Police Department, Fire Department, Finance and Personnel.
“I think that’s a positive,” he says, noting that he enjoys helping
other departments when services overlap.
“We’re here to provide
service to the community,” said Gallogly, who, as City engineer, also
serves on the Building Authority Board. The board establishes policy and
administers City-bonded construction projects.
A good day is
when he takes on a project and accomplishes it, and gets some positive
feedback along the way. A bad day is when projects don’t go as planned,
and problems arise that adversely impact residents, local businesses or
local governments. The solution may be to implement a work-around; at
worse, it means trying plan B, which is often costly.
don’t know what we do, they only know when it doesn’t work – if the
sewer gets backed up or the water doesn’t turn on,” he said.
his two decades with the City, he has learned that people are happy when
work continues at a steady pace. If there’s a slowdown in road
construction or sewer pipe replacement, people don’t see work
progressing and wonder why. Often, the vendor or a supplier has run into
a problem that needs to be addressed before the project can continue.
He takes pride in talking about issues with residents and others
– staying calm and listening to their point of view as he tries to work
out a solution. If a street is about to be paved, he sends a letter to
each homeowner on the block explaining what to expect during the
“Jim’s experience and dedication to the community
will be sorely missed,” said Pat Sullivan, City manager. “His kindness
and good humor were always a part of his dealings with residents and
coworkers. We wish him a long and happy retirement.”
dramatic change he has witnessed during his tenure was the
transformation of downtown Northville from a sleepy town with an
assortment of storefronts, ranging from classic and chic to commonplace.
Main Street was reconstructed with new facades to preserve its historic
roots. And the newly formed DDA brought events to town, which drew
people who returned again and again – boosting sales at restaurants,
bars and stores. The City is now one of the premier downtown
destinations in Michigan.
A longtime Novi resident, Gallogly and
his wife, Lorna, will move permanently to their lakefront house in
Northern Indiana, which they recently renovated. The couple has two
sons: the younger lives in Pennsylvania and the older lives in Grand
Rapids, with his wife and two young children.
Gallogly says he
enjoys doing outdoor work and plans to do more of it in his retirement.
“I will be one of those people with a spotless lawn.” He’ll have more
time for family get-togethers with his adult sons, grandchildren and
siblings, who also live on the lake in Indiana.
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