Chuck Simmons is in the City Spolight for May
Chuck Simmons wouldn’t change a thing about his career with the City of Jacksonville. “I’m helping protect the community by providing them a high quality of water and that’s very rewarding to me,” says Simmons. When you ask Simmons what he likes most about his job, he appreciates that it’s always different. “You never get bored because every day you are doing something different. One day I may be cutting grass all day or pulling pumps or working on electrical problems. I’m not stuck in one place. It’s an ongoing learning process and I like that. Occasionally, we will go on customer water complaint calls. Their water may be dirty or their pressure is low. I love to meet people; everyone is so nice. I like being able to help them. I love my job, and I never dread coming to work,” says Simmons. “My manager, Chris Patterson, is a great boss and it’s a pleasure to work with him as well as everyone else here. We all get along really well. It’s a great work environment.” Simmons has worked with the City of Jacksonville for about nine years. He began reading meters before transitioning to his job at the water/wastewater plant about three years ago. Before that he had his own lawn care business. His primary responsibilities as an operator at the plant include quality assurance of the drinking water. He has to make sure tests are at the acceptable levels in order for the water to be safe to drink. He’s also accountable for the wastewater that goes to Little Tallahatachee Creek. It has to be clean and satisfy the balanced levels needed for the environment. In addition, he helps take care of the day to day operations of the plant, making sure all the equipment is working properly. Three days a week they do water testing in the lab. “The job is very challenging and constantly changing. I am dual certified in water and wastewater management,” says Simmons. “We must renew our certifications with continuing education, making sure everything is up to EPA standards.” The Waste/Wastewater plant has recently completed many upgrades. Simmons is happy with all the recent improvements to his facility. “The upgrades help us meet the needs of our growing city. We constantly strive to give the citizens of Jacksonville the very best water conditions that we can,” explains Simmons. Chuck Simmons was born in the Gadsden area. He is the son of the late Charles and Pat Simmons. His mom now resides in Angel Station. He graduated from Southside High School in 1987. He then attended Jacksonville State University where he graduated in 2005, majoring in Social Science education. He and wife, Hannah, who is from England, reside in West Point. They have been married going on 10 years. “Most people think we met online but a relative actually introduced us,” says Simmons. They have a new baby daughter, Emilia (Emmy) who is five months old. Hannah is a Pharmacy Tech at Stringfellow Hospital. They attend church at Pleasant Valley Baptist. Spending time with his family is very important to Simmons. He also enjoys riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle, running, and exercising. When asked about hobbies, Simmons chuckled and said, “All that has changed a bit now since we have baby Emmy. Hannah and I used to love travelling and exploring new places on the Harley. Her working hours now require me to help take of our daughter. I wouldn’t change a thing though; I really enjoy spending time with her. Our life has changed since the birth of our daughter, but it is a good change. I feel like I’ve matured a lot, learning to put her first.” When asked about future children, Simmons smiled and said, “We have talked about it, but not anytime soon.” “We are just now adjusting to new parenthood.” Water/Wastewater Plant Manager, Chris Patterson, is proud to have Simmons on board at the City of Jacksonville. “Chuck is a dedicated worker that is willing to do any job that he is assigned with an attitude that he is going to give his very best. In my opinion this is truly a unique quality that is not taught on the job, but at home at a young age. I never had a chance to meet his father, but if I could tell him one thing it would be that he did a fine job along with his wife in raising Chuck to be an outstanding man and worker. I am very proud that he is on our team.” Thank you, Chuck Simmons, for your service and dedication to our city ensuring the citizens of Jacksonville are supplied with the best water conditions possible.
Photo & Story by Anita Kilgore