Over the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing all of the City of Claremore’s department heads. One thing I’ve noticed is that many of them have worked for our fair City since they were young adults and have kept at it for years. For several of them, it was their first job out of school. Daryl Golbek is no exception.
Daryl started working for the city at Woodlawn Cemetery on his 21st birthday in 1984. Three years later, he transferred to the street department, eventually working his way to street commissioner. In 2008, Daryl earned the title of Director of Public Infrastructure, in charge of water, sewer, and street departments. Then he bumped up again in 2010 to Director of Public Works, which is the position he now holds. In the midst of that, he also served two months as interim City Manager before completing a two-year stint as City Manager. All in all, he’s been with the City for 31 years.
Daryl is a Claremore native, born at Claremore Regional Hospital. After a childhood spent in nearby Inola, he moved to Claremore in 1978, graduating as a Zebra. In 1982, he married his wife, Lesa…on his birthday. I started noticing a trend with Daryl and his birthday, and he informed me that he also got ordained on his birthday, which is September 17 (in case you’re wondering).
There’s a lot on Daryl’s plate as Director of Public Works, since many different departments fall under his jurisdiction: street, stormwater, water distribution, sewer, sanitation, warehouse, electric, fleet maintenance, and tree service. Whew! I was curious as to what some of the departments are responsible for, since I wasn’t really sure.
Street: Keeps streets, sidewalks, curbs, and parking lots in good repair.
Stormwater: Deals with rain runoff from creeks, piping, and drainage ditches.
Warehouse: Houses all of the parts needed by the various departments. As a former warehouse girl in the Air Force, I can attest that it would be a building full of random odds and ends.
Fleet maintenance: Keeps all of the city vehicles in running order.
The rest of the departments are pretty self-explanatory.
According to Daryl, most of the departments are pretty self-sufficient, so he acts as the liaison between each department and the city manager and city council. He’s also in charge of all of the budgets.
There are some things happening that should make the citizens of Claremore very happy. There have been some questions about the quality of our drinking water, and steps are being taken to rectify that. First, the fancy new addition to the water treatment plant is in the works. The system will be the same type it currently is to keep problems to a minimum, but enlarged and upgraded to keep up with the growing population and need for water.
Another issue is that the water sometimes gets a high reading of chlorine in the pipes, which happens when water sits stagnant for too long in the tower. The city council has approved for mixers to be added to the towers, and is just waiting on final approval from DEQ. Additionally, the water department is working to tie off any dead lines that would raise the chlorine levels. Not to worry; while all of these solutions sound expensive, they have all been accounted for in the water department’s budget.
If you have questions or complaints, you are welcome to attend any of the city council meetings. Daryl said they are open to hearing any complaints or positive statements that citizens would like to make. After all, it’s only by getting the issue known that we can work toward a solution. Daryl has an open-door policy, as well, and you are welcome to call his office any time during the week (he’s there unless he’s out in the field) Monday – Friday from 8:30a – 4:30p at (918) 341-0133.
Keep it local, Claremore.
-MCM Staffer Ashley,
who was very excited to see that
the yellow city building on Ramm Road
is getting a MAKEOVER!