Al Mathis has had a variety of jobs in his 45 years with the city of Bexley, including service superintendent, sanitation engineer and equipment operator.

Al Mathis has had a variety of jobs in his 45 years with the city of Bexley, including service superintendent, sanitation engineer and equipment operator.

Mathis, who is retiring effective Dec. 31, said he learned about the sanitation engineer position from his brother-in-law. "I got married in 1965 and had a brother-in-law who worked for Bexley," Mathis said. "He convinced me that I should come and work for Bexley."

His brother-in-law, Lowell Adams, worked for the city until 1969, when he left to accept a new position with a construction company, Mathis said.

Mathis started in Bexley in 1965 as a sanitation engineer, a position he held for four years. He then became an equipment operator.

"I primarily ran the street sweeper for about seven years," Mathis said. "I was only pulled off when I needed to do concrete work or pave the streets."

He has held his current position as service superintendent since 1985. He is in charge of sewer, street and water maintenance. The job requires him to work with contractors and conduct inspections, he said.

Life in the service department has changed a lot over the last four decades, Mathis said. There is a lot more red tape then there was, he said.

"There are a lot more safety rules and guidelines that you have to follow," he said. "That meant a lot of changes."

Mathis said one of the aspects of the job he will miss most is working with his coworkers and dealing with the public. "I'm a people person," he said. "I just like to get acquainted with and talk to people in the community."

Service director Bill Harvey said Mathis will be missed.

"Obviously he knows the city more than any other employee," Harvey said. "He was a great asset to us."

Mathis was born in Knoxville, Tenn. When he was 12, his family moved to Columbus. After marrying, he moved to Lancaster. He currently resides in Amanda. He is divorced with four adult children, two who live locally.