Top of the Morning, Aug. 19, 2018

Top of the Morning, Aug. 19, 2018

Bill Gray's been on the job a long time.

"I vividly recall Larry Smarr, then head of the Beckman Institute, in 1993 telling city staff that there is this thing called the internet and a way to surf the internet that is going to revolutionize how we communicate and share information," he said. "Boy, was he right."

Urbana often rewards its retiring employees with street signs, most appropriate for the city's popular and productive Director of Public Works. Otherwise, he's hoping for a new three-ring binder. "The one I use," said Gray, whose last day will be Oct. 31, "is falling apart, and I hope it makes through two more months."

In retirement, Gray will ... "travel, mentor young public works leaders, volunteer at church, projects at home, read, cheer on the Illini, relax."

Day 1 on the job: Oct. 12, 1992 ... "was a Monday and working for the city of Urbana, Monday nights mean council meetings. I believe that meeting lasted until 11 p.m. dominated by discussion regarding solid waste disposal."

A day he'll never forget: April 19, 1996 ... when "a tornado hit Urbana and Ogden. I thought the community pulled together wonderfully recovering from all the damage."

His greatest pleasure ... "serving the mayors and city councils for all these years and serving the citizens of our community, providing positive services that help people strive for and live their lives to the fullest."

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