Wayne Southworth was first added to the payroll of the Town of Easton when Richard Nixon was the President of the United States.
Now, 42 years later, the long-time public works and water department employee, and Easton's current Director of the DPW, is announcing his retirement.
"I’ve been planning this probably over a year," he said. "It’s a number of factors. I’ve had a tremendous career here, over a lot of years. It’s just that time of life when I wanted to retire."
Southworth told Easton Town Administrator David Colton of his plans and Colton made the announcement at Monday night's Board of Selectmen meeting.
"He’s certainly had a great impact on this town, most notably with the water system," Colton said. "He’s someone I rely on, someone who’s advice I take seriously and someone who I’m going to miss."
Prior to taking over as the Director of the DPW in 2000, Southworth was the Water Superintendent for 20 years. In addition to his work in Easton, he has been involved in many regional and state-wide waterworks committees, including the Mass Waterworks Association and New England Waterworks Association, where he was the state director. Southworth is also currently the chairman of the Canoe River Aquifer Advisory Committee.
"You go to regional meetings and you see the respect that he has, not only in Easton, but also in our area," Selctwoman Ellen Barlow said.
"Wayne is someone I have so much respect for," Board of Selectman Chair Colleen Corona added. "When he’s silent, I worry and when he talks, I listen."
An Easton resident, Southworth said he intends to help Colton with the process of finding a new DPW Director. His retirement in January will be one of two for Easton's major department heads. Last month, Fire Chief Tom Stone as well after 33 years with the Easton Fire Department.
In addition to helping Colton with the transition, Southworth is looking forward to the retired life. He is hoping to help train future and current waterworks professionals.
"I’ve got a number of goals that I’m looking forward to," he said. "I’m going to get into education and I enjoy running so I think I’m going to have the time to do a little bit more of those things that I haven’t had time to do in recent years."
The people he has met and the people he has worked with will be what he will miss most.
"I think it’s all the great people you work with," he said. "You make an awful lot of acquaintances. It’s really the people."