After 39 years of working for the city of Pittsburgh, deputy public works director Mike Gable has just one year and six months to go before retiring with full benefits.
But a lot can happen in 18 months, Mr. Gable said on Friday, and he -- like several other city employees this week -- has decided to retire early with a slightly reduced pension.
Mr. Gable, who started working for the city as a part-time laborer in the parks in 1973, will work his last day as a city employee on Friday.
"I've been thinking about it for a while and it's just a good time for me to retire and ensure my family has good benefits down the road," said Mr. Gable, 58, who is married with two grown children and a granddaughter turning 1 year old at the end of March.
Two other long-time city employees are retiring as well: Tajuana Stephenson, acting chief information officer for the city information systems and a 26-year city employee, retired on Thursday, according to Pittsburgh operations director Duane Ashley.
And Michael Radley, director of the Pittsburgh Department of Parks and Recreation, will retire March 28 after 36 years with the city, Mr. Ashley said. Neither Ms. Stephenson nor Mr. Radley could be reached for comment.
After becoming a full-time laborer in 1974, Mr. Gable worked his way through the ranks of the department, landing an administrative position in 1979 and ultimately working for six mayors and 10 directors. He has served as deputy director for seven years.
Mr. Gable said he has no definite plans for his next job but does plan to work again. Meanwhile, he said he plans to learn to fly-fish and to spend more time with his family.
After all, he said, nearly everyone looks forward to retiring.
"We all strive to get to that goal, and I get the opportunity to act on it," Mr. Gable said.
Amy McConnell Schaarsmith: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1719.