Gary Smith is City Spotlight for December
Gary Smith has seen many changes in Jacksonville over the last 24 and a half years working with the city, but the biggest change has without a doubt been the March tornado. “Some of our residents are just now getting their lives back to normal,” says Smith. “It was just devastating to see what our city went through, but also heartwarming to see how everyone came together as a community.” Smith is the Customer Service Worker for the Utilities Department. He turns on gas and water for the citizens of Jacksonville as well as makes sure the meter readers are doing their jobs. According to his supervisor Michael Rinker, “Gary does a good job for the Water Works, Gas and Sewer Department. Everyone knows him. He never meets a stranger and approaches each day with a positive attitude. His concern for the citizens, as well as his dedication as an employee, is very much appreciated by citizens and administration alike.”
Smith is a Nance’s Creek native. He graduated from White Plains High School in 1984. After high school, he worked with Farron’s Tree Surgeon and then Parker Hannifin and Bear Cutlery. He started out in the shop at the Utilities Department with the city putting in gas and water services, he then transitioned to the main office as Customer Service Worker. “I love my job,” says Smith. “It does have a downside, though, sometimes I have to turn off residents’ gas or water for lack of payment which makes me not very popular. I have met many people over the years and made a lot of lasting friendships.”
Smith is married to wife Kelly who works as a sales representative and they reside in Piedmont. Smith has one daughter, Christa, who is about to return to the University of Alabama in January.
When not at work, Smith enjoys spending time with family and his five Labrador Retrievers. “They will listen to anything I say and won’t talk back,” chuckled Smith. “I used to enjoy hunting and fishing, but my biggest passion is watching Alabama football.” He and his wife attend Piedmont Methodist Church.
When asked about future plans Smith says, “I plan on retiring with the city of Jacksonville. I’ve thought about maybe even doing something different in another department. The city has been really good to me, and I’ve enjoyed working here all these years and look forward to many more to come.”
Thank you, Gary Smith, for your hard work and dedication to the city of Jacksonville.
Photo & Story by Anita Kilgore