Ronnie Vaughn has lived in Gardendale for most of his life. He recently retired from management in the City of Birmingham public works division, and will take over as the head of Mountain Brook’s public works department next week.
So tell us about your old job.
I retired as the deputy director. I worked for the department for 34 years. There just comes a time that you retire, but you still feel you’re young enough to do something else (I’m 54). This opportunity came along at just the right time. I started working for Birmingham in a temporary summer job while I was in school, and I ended up staying there and made a career out of it.
How will Mountain Brook’s department be different for you?
It’s a smaller operation and a smaller city, of course, but public works are similar everywhere. They have a very good organization in place right now, and we hope to maintain that, and even improve on it.
There’s a small construction division that works on drainage projects and such. A right-of-way division works on streets and traffic signals. Then there’s fleet management for city police, fire and public works vehicles. Last year I completed a certification program in public works management through the University of Georgia. It took me six years to complete it.
Tell us about your family.
I’ve been married to Pam for 32 years. We have a son, Heath, who lives here along with his wife, Ashley. They have a daughter, Allie Kate, who’s 2 years old. We had another daughter, Heather, who was killed in a car wreck in 2002. We belong to Gardendale First Baptist Church, where we’ve gone for 20 years. They were very instrumental in helping us get through the time after Heather’s death.