Next week, Albany’s new city manager, Peter Troedsson, will take over and begin sharing his thoughts with you through a weekly column. Weekly messages from the manager have been a tradition here for at least the last 30 years. I have appreciated the chance to use the column as a means of communicating thoughts and feelings about issues affecting the City and me. It’s hard to personally reach out to 500 or more people who are working or volunteering for the City at a given time, so publishing a column is at least a way for others to know something about what the manager is thinking. I have also appreciated the many comments I’ve received from people expressing their reaction to something I’ve written; although in truth, I liked the positive responses better than the nasty ones.
Years ago, one of my daughters-in-law read one of my columns and commented acidly something to the effect of, “My, how profound.” I value her opinion and was a little chastened by what was probably an accurate assessment. I have since tried less for profundity and worked harder to offer a mixture of unvarnished honesty and humor by telling stories related to what we do.
My final story is about my little grandson Isaac, who along with his parents, siblings, cousin, and me took a Fathers’ Day hike last Sunday on the Baker Creek Trail. Isaac is wise beyond his three years as proven by a comment he made a couple of weeks ago when his mother expressed how sad he made her when he got into some chocolates while she was taking a shower. He proudly explained, “It made me happy.” Isaac was an energetic hiker through most of our walk, jumping over logs, finding mud, splashing in puddles, and generally enjoying himself. He reached a point, however, where he decided I needed to carry him. I was ok with hauling him along for about a quarter-mile until my back started to hurt and I wanted to put him down. I explained the problem, and he responded, “So, my feet hurt.”
Like Isaac, my feet are starting to hurt after walking along the city management trail for the past 30 years. It’s time to do something different, and I’m looking forward to a retirement that will continue to include work, but also more time with Isaac and the rest of my grandchildren. I am most grateful for the chance to associate with so many good people in Albany and particularly for the opportunity to work with great colleagues at the City. I owe you all a sincere “thank you” for your service to the community, which in turn has made my job rewarding and enjoyable.