Last week, the City of High Point lost its “downtown expert” when Assistant City Manager Randy Hemann decided the grass would be greener in the Charlotte-area as the future city manager of Mooresville.

But Hemann isn’t the only valuable asset the city just lost: High Point Engineering Services Department Director Keith Pugh retired at the end of July after a long career in public service after working for both the cities of High Point and Greensboro.

Pugh took a job with High Point in 2004 after working for 16 years with the City of Greensboro.

As the head of Engineering Services for High Point, Pugh oversaw the design of water and sewer systems as well as street and sidewalk projects. The former director of the Engineering Services also oversaw the preparation of many construction contracts and then monitored the contractors’ work and inspected the completed projects.

In recent years, as High Point has built a new downtown baseball stadium, and essentially reconstituted its downtown, there’s been plenty of work for the city’s Engineering Services Department.

Pugh posted his thoughts on retirement and on his years with the two cities on his Facebook page.

“During this time, I’ve had the distinct honor and privilege of working with tremendous staff members, dedicated elected officials, consultants, contractors, citizens, developers, real estate professionals and a host of others who combine to make our communities better places to live, work and raise our families,” he posted. “I appreciate the opportunity to serve the Triad community I’ve called home since 1970.”

Pugh will take some well deserved time off after his 31 years in the public sector and then he plans to work in the private sector where, he stated, he’ll “resume my service to the communities we all call home.”

Pugh will also continue to serve in his existing capacity as Region III Director of the American Public Works Association, a professional organization of about 30,000 government engineers and others.

Pugh said he’s very excited about the future and he concluded with a sentimental note that put many exclamation marks to good use.

“My dad always encouraged me to leave things better than I found them…. I haven’t always succeeded with this, but I’ve tried,” he wrote. “I believe it’s time to get out of the way and let some new ideas come rushing in….In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying my new life, my new career and several bold new adventures!! Thank you all for your guidance, support and encouragement over the years! God is good!”