In 1976, Virgil Hartley began his career with the City of Marion as a Draftsman for the Traffic Department. In the late 70s, the City created an Assistant Surveyor position of which he served through the Engineering Department until the early 80s. He explained, “I was in the CETA (Comprehensive Employment and Training Act) program of 1978, and I had a high school education in drafting which opened the door to receive on-the-job training.” He then became a Street Cut Inspector in the early 80s. Hartley returned to the City again in the late 90s to serve as a Construction Inspector for the Engineering Dept.
During his career, Hartley received continued education from Purdue University in Traffic Engineering, as well as special training in MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System), and took on many special assignments directed by the head of Engineering, Mike Graft.
Graft described Hartley as an invaluable asset to the City of Marion in addition to an enjoyable presence in the office. “Virgil’s hard work and diligence have greatly benefitted the citizens of Marion, and I hope that other employees here will strive to follow his stellar example.” He further described Hartley as an instant friend upon hiring, and wished him happiness in retirement.
Hartley reflected on some notable projects during his career. “I was on the Kem Road Project, the original Adams Street Project, the Nebraska Street Widening Project, and several other road construction projects. I also collected data for the Traffic Signal Project.”
Hartley expressed he holds fond memories of working under numerous administrations. He expressed enjoyment in working with others. “There have been many great people,” he said.
His plans in retirement are to stay active, stay local, and enjoy various outdoor activities. He will also remain a consultant for the City in MS4.
Friday, November 19th, 2021 was Hartley’s last day in the office. Many City of Marion employees gathered Friday to celebrate his service through a retirement party.