Mar 23, 2011 Ned Campbell Uncategorized
When Bruce Famoly decided to retire from the Skaneateles Water Department, he didn’t have to look far. Famoly was employed by the town for 36 years.
“I sat down to put these boots on one morning … and I just said, ‘Naw, I can’t do it anymore,'” Famoly said.
It wasn’t because of any personalities or the job itself – it was just time for a change.
“I started playing golf two years ago and I realized that things change,” he said. “I’m kind of an old fashioned guy and I don’t necessarily keep up with the changes. It’s just the right time.” Joe Dwyer, who has worked for the water department for about 10 years, will take over for Famoly.
Famoly was foreman of the water department since 1995, and before that worked for the water department and at the landfill. He was even dog warden for a short period of time.
“I wore several hats in 36 years, primarily water,” he said.
The town of Skaneateles hosted a retirement luncheon for Famoly Friday March 18 at town town hall. Famoly couldn’t help but reflect on all that went into working at the water department.
“We fixed a lot of water main breaks in 36 years, I know that,” he said. “Hundreds.”
He said his goal was always to improve the whole water system, and he succeeded at it.
“It’s due in large part because the town board voted to do that, but I prodded them and showed them where we needed the improvements,” he said. “And together, I think, that’s our main accomplishment – improving the town’s water system.”
Most of the significant improvements were to the systems in Mottville and Skaneateles Falls. “That’s all relatively new, within the last 20 years,” he said.
As a lifelong resident of the town, making sure the residents received proper drinking water was not a task he ever took lightly. For him, it was always personal.
“I grew up in Mottville, so a lot of those people I’ve known since childhood,” he said. “They’re my friends and neighbors, and it’s been a pleasure to be able to take care of them and make sure they have good drinking water.”
Famoly worked under seven different supervisors. Skaneateles town clerk Janet Aaron compiled a “partial list” of employees Famoly worked with during his run.
“On July 2, 1972 Bruce Famoly began his employment with the town of Skaneateles working at the Landfill for $3.25 per hour,” she wrote. “Little did he know that he would outlast so many people employed by the town.” (See list at right)
One of those people was Charlie Major, who was town supervisor for 14 years starting in 1977. He said Famoly’s service to the town could be summed up in two words – reliability and dedication.
“The whole key is dedication and always being on the job,” he said. “Water mains break at all times of the night and day, and it’s not fun in the winter being down in a hole if the water breaks in the middle of the night.”
Famoly asked the town board to promise him to “please just make sure that our water customers keep getting the same level of service that they’ve always gotten.”
“Because you get attached to something after that many years,” he said. “And they promised me they would, and I believe them.
“For some reason I think I own that water system, because I’ve taken care of it so long. And I want the customers to get good service, and they will. They will.”
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