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Arlington resident retires from 37 years with Snohomish County Public Works
ARLINGTON After nearly 38 years of working for the Snohomish County Department of Public Works, Arlington resident Dick Sass retired from his position as bridge crew supervisor of the Road Maintenance Division, taking with him a lifetime of fond memories and lasting friendships.
Sass career with the countys Public Works began on Dec. 2, 1968, when he worked in a surveying crew and progressed through stints in materials labs, landfills that no longer exist, and heavy equipment operation, before he began driving semis for bridge crews in the mid-1970s. He took over as supervisor of the greatest job ever created, in my opinion, in January of 1979 and continued to look forward to every day of work for the following 27 years.
Sass attributed a great deal of his career satisfaction to his coworkers, whom he praised for their strong work ethic, as well as to the unique challenges that his work has presented him with although he acknowledged that the nature of those challenges has changed dramatically over time.
As more of these old bridges have been replaced by concrete, weve engaged in less maintenance and more diverse work, said Sass, who noted that more of that work has come to involve bank stabilization and stream restoration. More recently, he recalled helping to build logjam habitats and open old channels in the Stillaguamish River, enhancing fish migration and repairing flood damage and hill slides alongside groups such as the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, the University of Washington and the Department of Ecology.
Sass conceded that his work, and his coworkers, made stepping down hard to do, especially since theyre the cream of the crop. Theyre loyal, dedicated, hard workers who are the reason Ive succeeded, and why my job as supervisor has seemed so easy. As soon as I found the bridge crew, I knew Id found my home.
His coworkers appear to share a high opinion of Sass in return, since they retired both his radio call number, 570, and the matching number of a bridge near Deer Creek, 570, in honor of his own retirement. In the meantime, Sass looks forward to spending his newfound free time farming trees and visiting his grandkids and he encourages everyone who used to call him with their concerns to trust his successor in the bridge crew supervisor role, Bud Klintworth, who can be reached at 425-388-7135.
Back in 1968, all I wanted to go with my career was become a dump truck driver, Sass laughed. I never made it to that goal and Im glad.