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Thoughts on retiring from active employment

On September 30 I retired from active employment in local government after more than 38 years–the last 13+ years as Human Resources Director for the City of Medford.  I will continue to be active, however, as Chairman of the Board of  the HRA VEBA Trust, a three-state health benefits trust serving more than 40,000 local government employees in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. I will also continue to actively support the Oregon Chapter of the International  Public Management Association for Human Resources, and the Oregon chapter of the National Public Employer Labor Relations Association.  It was  pleasure to appear at ORPELRA’s annual conference this week in Wilsonville, talking about experience with Oregon’s employment relations statute.

Some random thoughts on retiring;

  • I have repeated many times my belief in public service as a noble calling. The dismal support by Americans in their public servants is depressing, but I am constantly amazed by those who carry on despite this.
  • I am sometimes asked what I tell professionals just starting out, and I usually laugh., and then tell them some basic rules which I have accumulated over the years and listed here in no particular order:
  1. “You are only as good as your word.”
  2. “Always tell the truth, even when it hurts.”
  3. “Be careful what you wish for.”
  4. “No good deed goes unpunished.”
  5. “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.”
  6. “Don’t promise what you cannot deliver. “
  7. “To be successful in politics, you have to learn how to stand on the right street corner when the bus goes by.”
  8. “If you want to be a manager, the first person to manage is yourself.”
  9. “Never forget the importance of supporting those who do the work.”
  10. “No problem is so big or so complicated it cannot be run away from.”

And, since I don’t believe in only 10 rules, here’s another (like rule 10 advice from Charles Schulz):

“People expect more of you when you have naturally curly hair.”





Posted in IPMA-HR, Main, Personal.

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