Citywide Maintenance Superintendent Exits after One Year to Serve Fallen Veterans and their Families

MARION, IN: (Dec. 16th, 2016) – The Superintendent of the city’s streets will be leaving his position to return to serving fallen veterans and their families. Citywide Maintenance Superintendent James Loftis accepted an opportunity at Marion National Cemetery to serve as a caretaker technician and support administrator for families during the burial process of their beloved veteran.

“Being a veteran, serving veterans’ families is a sense of accomplishment…to make them feel warm during that dark time. It’s their darkest day, and I want to make that last day fulfilling,” explained Loftis.

After taking on the leadership role on January 1st, 2016 as Citywide Maintenance Superintendent, Loftis implemented pivotal changes within the department, which resulted in tens of thousands in savings. A new leaf-pickup method was a major move to encourage Marion citizens to help the City run a more efficient process by bagging leaves (in lieu of raking them to the curb) and helping neighbors. With individuals and groups stepping up, the first year of the change proved to be an overall success. Loftis led his team to fulfill daily routines proactively and smoothly, despite no more than 10 employees.

Mayor Jess Alumbaugh said although Loftis served one year, he displayed excellent servant leadership.

The Citywide Maintenance Department is known to work closely with other departments running building & other code enforcement, city parks, and more. Parks Director, Belinda Hussong, said many city parks would not be maintained if it weren’t for Loftis’ team.

Building Commissioner, Jerry Foustnight, said Loftis and his team fulfilled cleanup and demo projects on a regular basis for them. “Loftis is a good leader. He would always achieve the goals he would set for the task at hand, and made it easy for my department. We’ve lost an asset and member of our team.”

Chief of Police, Angie Haley, recalled when the city had inclement weather, her staff was able to reach Loftis, and he got the plows out quickly. “He always acted promptly and got the job done.”

Loftis said his last day is Dec. 23rd to resume service for the cemetery on the 27th, but assured his team he would step in and help that weekend if bad weather hits. He said he will miss the people he’s been serving with for the City of Marion. “I love the people here and the teamwork. It makes it very hard to leave."

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