Archived Story

Resident enjoys position as public works supervisor

Published 9:59am Friday, March 28, 2014

MERLE MONAHAN/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
merlemonah@aol.com

Hart Council -- MERLE MONAHAN | TIDEWATER NEWS
Hart Council — MERLE MONAHAN | TIDEWATER NEWS

FRANKLIN—Hart Council, 50, has tried several career paths since he finished high school, but always felt there was something better out there for him.

He found what he was looking for when he joined Southampton County as a public works supervisor 14 years ago. He has since been promoted to director in charge of 36 employees.

“I enjoy my work here,” he said. “Things are more organized and somehow I feel like I’m not only working for myself, but performing a service to the community as well.”

Council was born and raised in Ivor. The only child of Wayland and Frances Council, he graduated from Southampton High School and attended diesel college.

One of his first jobs, however, was not as a mechanic, but as a roofer with an Ivor contractor. He left this company for employment at the Newport News Shipyard.

Still this wasn’t what he really wanted, so he began farming.

“I left farming after three years, when I had the opportunity to join the county in 2000,” he said. “I have not been sorry.”

Council said he is responsible for all recycling and oversees the 14 dumpsites in the county, just to name a couple of his duties.

“Our taking care of the trash sites was one of the best things to happen,” he added. “People in Southampton, as well as neighboring counties, were abusing them so badly – they’d leave almost anything they could handle at the nearest dump, whether they lived in the county, which is a requirement for using the facility, or not.”

Council thinks the recycling program implemented by the county also is a good thing. It reduces the amount of garbage sent to the landfill, thus resulting in a savings to the county.

“Placing and emptying bins in several communities in the county, which is done by the county, helps both the resident and our department,” he said. “We have a company that sorts the materials, which means the county doesn’t have to do it.

“This service is free,” Council continued. “All a resident has to do is call the service and request it.”

He said the county litter control program is also making strides by getting children involved in recycling.

“Program members lecture in the schools and other organizations where there are young people’s activities.”

Another part of his job, Council said, requires his department to maintain the lots of several properties in the county, including unoccupied school lots, etc.

“We keep the grass cut, things like that,” he said.

Speaking from his office in Courtland, where two citation mounted deer heads are hung, Council grinned when he was asked about his outside sports activities.

“I love to hunt and fish,” he said, “and fortunately with this job, I do get some time off to do that. I’ve been a member of Ivor Hunt Club for many years and hunt around that area a lot.

“But I got both of these deer on my grandfather’s farm near Black Creek,” he said, adding, “where, as a matter of fact, my wife and I built our home in 1991.”

Pointing to one of the deer heads, he revealed, not boasting but proudly, “That one has 15-plus points.”

In addition to his duties as director of public works, Council has many other talents; he is a certified diesel mechanic, better than average carpenter and a good farmer he said. He also knows how to raise chickens, as he and his wife had such an operation for a few years.

But he feels comfortable in his present job.

“I work with a great group of people and I get to meet a lot of new people. My hours are good and I’m on call only when a problem cannot be solved without me.

“People tell me that I’m a people person,” Council added. “I guess I am.”

NAME: Wayland Hart Council Jr.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS AREA: I was born and raised in Ivor.

HOMETOWN: Ivor

OCCUPATION: Southampton County Public Works Director

MARITAL STATUS: I am married to Susan P. Council

CHILDREN, AGES AND SCHOOLS:  We have two sons, Brandon and Ryan, both grown and living on their own.

FAVORITE NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN: Any night out with my wife.

FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Three Guys

FAVORITE FOOD AND BEVERAGE: Pizza and a cold beer

WHAT IS ONE THING MOST PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU: Susan and I like to sing Karaoke at home.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOU: I am outgoing and always willing to help.

PETS: We have two dogs and two cats.

WHAT IS YOUR WORST HABIT: I can’t say no.

FAVORITE HOBBIES: Hunting and fishing.

PET PEEVE: I don’t like people who don’t keep their word.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB: Weeding peanuts for a local farmer.

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED: As a person who always tried to help others.

IF YOU HAD 10 MINUTES ON NATIONAL TELEVISION, WHAT WOULD YOUR TOPIC BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU SAY: My topic would be the economy in our country today.  I would urge our political leaders to concentrate on ways to improve it. This should be a priority.

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