STEUBENVILLE - Reality set in Monday morning for Mike Wigal when he arrived at his desk in the city water filtration plant.
"My appointment letter naming me acting water department superintendent was on the desk and I guess that's when it really hit me. I have been a union worker for a number of years and now I am the superintendent," explained Wigal.
The 43-year-old Wigal succeeded Bill Skinner, who retired effective Sunday.
NEW MAN ON THE JOB — Mike Wigal was named acting water department superintendent Monday morning by Mayor and Acting City Manager Domenick Mucci. Wigal succeeds acting Superintendent Bill Skinner, who retired effective Sunday. -- Dave Gossett
"I have worked for the city since 1996. I spent nine years in the water department, then more than four years in the wasterwater department and the past four years back in the water department. This is the next logical step in my career," Wigal said.
The Brilliant native spent six years in the Navy serving as a nuclear maintenance mechanic on submarines.
"When I got out of the Navy I found a minimum wage job. But I had a wife with a baby on the way, so I was looking for a good job with a future. I got the job in the city water department in 1996, and started working in the old filtration plant," said Wigal.
"I took a job running the lab in the wastewater department and was able to obtain my Class 3 license and became an operator. After four years in the wastewater department I returned to the water department and obtained my Class 3 operator's license," continued Wigal.
"My next step is to obtain my Class 4 water operator license," he added.
It was the two operators licenses and his personal drive that impressed Mayor and Acting City Manager Domenick Mucci.
"When Bill Skinner notified me he was retiring I asked Bill to submit a list of recommendations. Mike's name was on top of Bill's list. I interviewed him and was impressed with his dual operators licenses. I want to meet with him again this week to discuss the administrative side of the job. I know he knows how to make water. But as superintendent he is also responsible for the administration of the department," stated Mucci.
"We also contacted the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and they indicated that if Mike was named as acting superintendent they will afford the city and Mike the same opportunity to obtain his Class 4 license," Mucci said.
"I am also interested in exploring ideas he may have on saving money and running even more efficiently in the future," added Mucci.
Wigal said one of his goals is to create a qualified group of operators and assistant operators.
"I want to create a line of succession so we are always prepared for people to move up when necessary," said Wigal.
As for Skinner, the now retired acting water department superintendent is trying to get used to retirement.
"This is all new for me. I still got up at 5 a.m. this morning like I always have," laughed Skinner.
"I am looking forward to my retirement and spending more time with my family. And I know Mike is a good man to replace me as acting water superintendent," said Skinner.