Robert Simmons, left, Chief Water Treatment Operator for the City of El Dorado, with his 45 year service award given in 2018, by Public Utilities Director, Kurt Bookout, right.. Simmons began his employment with the City of El Dorado in 1973 and retired after 46 years in December 2019.
[Deanna Bonn/Butler County Times-Gazette]



Long-time employee retires from city of El Dorado

By Chad Frey
Butler County Times-Gazette
After nearly more than four decades, Robert Simmons recently retired from the city of El Dorado, leaving his position as the Chief Operator at the Water Treatment Plant.

Simmons dedicated his life to providing clean, safe water to the citizens of El Dorado. That part of his life came to an end, as after 46 years he retired from his position at the

El Dorado Water Treatment Plant.

 

His career started more than 46 years ago, on Oct.1, 1973, working on the night shift and continuing his education part-time until finally earning a teaching degree. As part of his job, he helped teach fourth and fourth graders from Butler County about water.

 

Simmons is known by his coworkers for his dedication to his job and taking “vacation” to get further education on water treatment.

 

“Bob's story is more than just a story about time served, it's about a man who has a passion for excellence in his field of work,” said Director of Public Utilities Kurt Bookout during a presentation about Simmons when he was nominated for an Excellence Award. “As anyone who has worked with Bob can attest, that going above and beyond is just Bob's normal operating mode.”

 

An example of this is Bob's dedication to learning as much as can about his craft — and serving as the designated trainer of new water treatment operators for nearly four decades. Bookhart called Simmons a “teacher at heart.”

 

“Bob has been known to take vacations and travel long distances, at his own expense, to attend training seminars to advance his knowledge of water treatment,” Bookout said. “... His uncompromising honesty and integrity is exactly the type of character qualities you want in an employee who has been guaranteeing the safety of our water supply every day he's worked over the last 46 years”

 

— Have a good news story to share? Email Chad Frey at news@thekansan.com.