Public Works Week puts typically unwelcomed spotlight on employees

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – When people don’t notice the jobs Public Works employees perform, that is actually a good thing. 

“If the water doesn’t work, they notice If the sewer’s backed up, they notice. If the street’s falling apart, they notice,” Cape Girardeau Public Works Director Stan Polivick said. “If we’ve got all that working like it’s supposed to, people just take us for granted and we did our job very well.” 

One employee you may have noticed if you’ve lived in or travelled through Cape during the last 44 years is Jerry Pledger, who you can find wielding around a tractor with a mower attached to it. 

But not for too much longer. Pledger is set to retire from Cape Girardeau Public Works at the end of May. 

He is a man of few words, but he is grateful to those he has spent time with at Public Works. 

“They really treat me good,” he said. “My fellow employees are great. They show me so much respect.” 

One of those fellow employees, Charles Smoot, has been working at Cape Girardeau Public Works for a decade and a half, and has worked directly with Pledger for the last eight months.

“The work is ongoing, but I can’t complain about anything,” Smoot said. “I see myself being a hard worker and I’ve had great influences like Jerry to get me through the tougher times. It’s nothing a working person doesn’t go through on a day-to-day basis. It’s all about your attitude.” 

Cape Girardeau Public Works will carry on without Jerry, but he will be missed. 

“The thing is we have people around here who have great attitudes and we have great influencers around here,” Smoot said. “Public Works, with or without Jerry, we’ll be fine, but we’re thankful that we had him.” 

So if you see Jerry, or any other Public Works employee for that matter, give them a simple thank you for the work they do in the community.

Categories: Community, News