Ron Sullivan to step down Friday after 22 months as Paris’ public works supervisor


Ron Sullivan is retiring as public works director for the City of Paris – a job he has held for the past 22 months.

Public works director Ron Sullivan

Public works director Ron Sullivan

“Ron has announced his retirement, effective Jan. 4, next Friday,” city manager John Godwin confirmed to

“We’re going to leave that vacant for six months or more, depending on how that goes – maybe a lot longer than that, maybe not any longer than that,” Godwin said.

“That will give the division heads, as I call them – his department supervisors – a chance to hopefully grow and have a little more independence. We’ll see now that goes, how they all do,” the city manager said.

Six department heads have reported to Sullivan:

  • Parks and Right of Way — Bill Loranger, supervisor
  • Recreation — Sally Wright, supervisor
  • Sanitation — Edwayne Samis III, supervisor
  • Streets — Rufus Hill, superintendent
  • Traffic – Edwayne Samis III, supervisor
  • Water & Sewer — Danny Edwards, superintendent

“Those guys =- and one gal – will report directly to me, although they obviously won’t see me as much as they saw Ron, since they were just down the hall from him and they’ll be down the street from me,” Godwin said.

“They’ll have a little more independence. That’s the plan, anyway. We’ll see how that goes. They’ll have more opportunity to grow, and hopefully, they will do that,” the manager added.

Godwin said he may use Sullivan’s retirement as an opportunity to reorganize the structure of some city departments.

The public works department “is a big department as far as the scope of things that it does,” Godwin told eParisExtra.

“Some things don’t always seem to make sense, but it comes down to the people, not how it looks on paper. It may be entirely logical in real life, or it may not be. But this will give me a chance to work with them directly and decide what we want to do differently. And maybe it will be nothing,” Godwin said.

Sullivan’s retirement in Paris will end 36 years as an engineer for Arlington, the Texas Department of Transportation, Bedford, Palestine and, finally, Paris.

Sullivan has been the public works director since April 18, 2011, hired by interim city manager Gene Anderson following Sullivan’s retirement on March 31, 2011, as public works director at Palestine, for whom he had worked for seven years.

Texas Municipal Retirement System rules allow a person to go to work at another city starting the following month.

Sullivan’s retirement comes on the heels of the retirement of Ronnie Grooms, 57, as fire chief on Oct. 15 – 34 years to the day from when Grooms joined the department. He had been the fire chief since 2001.

On Nov. 19, the Paris City Council confirmed Lawrence H. “Larry” Wright III, 64, as the new fire chief. Wright, who has 33 years of fire department experience, came out of retirement as the recent fire chief at Marble Falls, Texas, to join Godwin, for whom Wright had worked as fire chief in Rowlett.









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About the Author

Charles Richards Charles Richards moved to Paris in 2004 after retiring from a 40-year career in journalism – the last 26 years as a news writer and sports writer with The Associated Press in Dallas and Washington, D.C. In mid-2004, The Paris News coaxed him out of retirement, and he began covering the police, court and regional beat for The Paris News. Then in early 2005, he was switched to coverage of a sharply divided Paris City Council. He was appointed by the City Council in 2006 to the 12-member City Charter Review Commission, which extensively rewrote the outmoded document. His writing awards include two first-place awards in statewide competition for feature writing. The most recent was his 2005 story on a Paris doctor’s startling use of leeches in a successful attempt to re-attach a man’s severed ear. Over his career, Richards’ interview subjects include Alabama Gov. George Wallace, President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, David Koresh, Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali and numerous other political and sports figures. He is an alumnus of Texas Tech, where he was editor of the school newspaper. He lives in Paris with his wife, Barbara, who is retired after 30 years as a teacher and high school counselor.