Leonard Hendricks didn’t even apply to become the public works director in Platte City nearly 16 years ago.
At the time, he was working for the City of Excelsior Springs as the construction superintendent, when his name was brought up for an inspector position. Prior to starting that job, the previous public works director left and Hendricks got that position.
“Trying to keep a public works director was challenging; it was a revolving door,” Platte City Mayor Frank Offutt said during the recent Board of Aldermen meeting. “Luck was on our side that day.”
The city honored Hendricks for his retirement after nearly 16 years at the city and a total of 40 years working for the government, which also included a stint at the Richmond School District.
Hendricks’ last day in Platte City was May 31 and he and his wife are now moving to Texas. Kenny Loy will be the interim public works director for the city.
Hendricks started in Platte City in 2002 and quickly got to work on a laundry list of projects that needed to be done. Some of the bigger items in his time include the Fourth Street reconstruction, Kentucky Avenue extension, work on Highway 92 and wastewater upgrades.
“Anyone who drives in Platte City, every street, every road, every park, every facility, sees the work he has done the last 16 years,” city manager DJ Gehrt said.
Hendricks oversaw streets (sidewalks/storm water), water operations, wastewater operation and solid waste collection and recycling.
“I appreciate the time Platte City gave me,” Hendricks said, after being presented with a plaque by Offutt. “I wasn’t looking for a job, but someone put my name in a hat. I was planning on being here two years. I liked what I’m doing and I had the pleasure of building a great crew. You are only as good as the people that work for you and what you do for them. We did it together and that is what it is about. I’ve had many men and women that have worked for me. The crew we got together, I will say, is the best we ever had in my tenure.”