From Mayor Bill Pugh:
After serving us for 22 years, John Galle is retiring at the end of August. I am thrilled that he will get to enjoy a much deserved retirement; but I am also sad for us because in his quiet, unassuming way, John has really shaped Sumner for the better in ways we won’t fully realize. He arrived here as a rookie police officer and rose to serve as our Chief. I’ll actually let John tell the rest of the story:
“Then, seven years ago, Mayor Enslow asked me to lead City staff and work with Council in fulfilling the City’s vision. Stepping into the role of City Administrator ‘temporarily,’ I had no idea then how it would change my life. Debates with Dave, as well as our daily talks about things that matter most in life, are some of my most cherished memories.
“I have been honored to work with staff, who each and every day focus on quality of life issues for our community. They have protected our citizens, built roads and bridges, and created plans that will serve Sumner many years into the future. They provided initiative and the labor that made the Y a reality. They laid the groundwork for a new library, and will turn a long-term liability into economic gain and flood protection. Most of all, they daily lived out our values, accomplished incredible things with collaboration and often times humor, and set a standard of excellence second to non. I will miss them dearly.
“I am the first to admit that I have not always followed established rules or expectations, instead preferring to focus on values and the purposes that guide our decision making. It is something I have endeavored to instill in those around me, encouraging staff to be innovative, freely challenging the status quo, and advancing creative ideas that better our community. It is also no secret that I dislike bureaucracy, and that I am a strong advocate of the private sector. I am unapologetic in the conviction that private citizens and businesses can be more efficient, innovative, compassionate, and purposeful than governments can ever dream to be. Government stumbles when it assumes otherwise.
“As I have focused on our values, I have never held back my opinion on matters that affect our City and have encouraged staff to do the same. I believe it has enriched our working relationship and has aided in helping make wise decisions for our community. Council’s recognition and respect for staff’s role has been a key element of the progress we have seen. I pray that Council will continue to support and honor their value to the community.”
John and I have had the rather unique experience of working for each other in the past few years. In my career, I have known no one with stronger principles nor more dedication than him. And I can’t improve on his words either. We will attempt to fill his shoes, with Jason Wilson serving as our interim city administrator. In true fashion, John will not allow us to hold any kind of event to honor him, so if you see him around, please join us in giving him the most sincere, heart-felt thank you possible.