Waste Manager retires
Ryan Summerlin January 8, 2013
After more than 14 years working for Summit County, County Waste Manager Cliff Blonquist retired on Dec. 31.
The Summit County Council recognized Blonquist’s work with the county during a special meeting on Monday, Jan. 8.
"Cliff has done a lot of good things, and I think he has served the public and his fellow employees very, very well," Summit County Chair Dave Ure said.
Blonquist said during an interview that he enjoyed working for the county.
"When you’re doing things for the right reasons, it’s pretty easy. But now it’s time for me to move on," he said.
Blonquist added that covering six incorporated cities, as well as several densely populated unincorporated areas, he had a lot of room to travel around and meet people.
"And I created a lot of memorable friendships," he said.
Blonquist said he chose to work for Summit County because he enjoys the public side of service.
"The county does a good job," he said. "I think their challenge is keeping up with growth. The county has doubled in size and the demand for service is higher. And the expectations are a little higher than you may see somewhere else."
Blonquist attributed the challenges to Summit County’s diversity.
"We have a very diverse group that lives in Summit County. The diversity we deal with challenges our demands for service," he said.
Blonquist was also a Summit County commissioner from 1983 to 1987.
"I made a decision that if you are going to ride the ship, you might as well drive it," he said.
During his tenure on the commission, he helped create the employee 401K system, fleet fund management and tax stability fund.
"We also acquired the land where the landfill is now, as well as the land for the courthouse expansion. What’s nice is, what we did back then is still in place today," he said.
As a staff member, he has spent the last few years redoing the county’s solid waste contract.
"It was an experience in itself," he said. "We now have solid waste collection and recycling county-wide, and I don’t think any other county in the state has that. And we got it for a great price. It turned out very well for the taxpayer."
Blonquist looks forward now to putting more work into his farm in Coalville, and to continue running the rodeo for the Summit County Fair.