This is the last column of 2021 and there will be some significant employment changes for three Clinton gentlemen in a few days. Retirement has arrived and a new season in life will begin. Each will do things differently, but each contributed greatly to the community during their working years. Knowing all three gentlemen, you will continue to see them involved in the Clinton community, only in a different role and format.
Tim Followell—Tim will retire as Clinton City Administrator this week. Tim is in his 45th year as an employee of the City of Clinton. Tim is a true anomaly. He spent a 45 year career with one employer. He rose to the top administrative position without a college degree. A job that many cities now require a masters in public administration to even interview for. Tim did it his way, and by all measurements, he was the consummate professional and exemplary public servant.
Tim started out working for the City as a high school kid at the cemetery. He would do some work for the street department, but it was the cemetery that was a focal point of his career. Even as City Administrator, he continued to have hands on oversight of cemetery to the benefit of the community. Tim simply acquired more duties and responsibilities as he worked for the City and learned much of his trade from former City Administrator Dick Helton. Tim’s career should be the study of graduate students in public administration. Tim is the classic example of “on the job training”. Tim learned well and served the public with skill, honesty and pure effort. Thank-you Tim for your dedication to Clinton.
Tim Hoyt—Tim Hoyt retired last week after 21 ½ years at Baum Chevrolet as a car salesman. It is rare for a car dealership to throw a retirement party for an employee that is open for the public. That is what Baum Chevrolet did for Tim. Tim was the consummate car salesman. He knew the car models and their attributes and shortcomings. More importantly he knew his customers. He maintained contact with his customers via cards and phone calls. Customers would leave the area for jobs or retirements, but would come back to Baum’s and seek out Tim for their next purchase. That is brand loyalty for Baum Chevrolet and loyalty to a classic salesman. That loyalty comes from Tim simply being fair and seeking to always meet the needs of his clients. Thank-you Tim for putting the needs of your clients first and then meeting those needs.
John Baker—John Baker has been the owner of Grimsley’s Flowers since 1994, having taken over the business from his parents. With the new year, the business is being sold to another Clinton couple who will hopefully run the business as John has done. I will leave that formal announcement for them to make. John has assisted the community through many weddings and funerals with his floral skills. Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day is where he really shines, only to flourish again with his floral skills for prom. All occasions requiring flowers have been benefitted from John’s expertise. The key to John’s success is his comment, “The customer is always right”. John has run a very successful business by serving his customers. He has spent the past several weeks working with the new owners to show them how the business operates. John’s business life was Grimsley’s Flowers and his fervent desire is that the business continue to serve the community. Thank-you John for your service to the community.
As you see these three lifetime Clinton residents in next few weeks, take a moment to thank them for their efforts in this community. All three would treasure any specific comments you may have about how they assisted you or your families over the years. These are three great guys. Let the three amigos know you appreciated their work over the years.
To all: Happy New Year.