One of my favorite people, Flo Collier, is retiring from her position as secretary to City Manager Mike Podegracz after 16 years of service to the city.


Whenever we run into each other at events, Flo and I kiddingly say, "We are very close to each other." And we are, quite literally. We have been neighbors since I moved Hesperia seven years ago, hence the inside joke.


What impresses me most about Flo is her calm, positive attitude toward just about everything. While we tend to share simple niceties passing by, the times that I have shared deeper issues or sought neighborly advice, she always encouraged me to find an answer that would bring peace and tranquility. Not surprisingly, Flo is a deeply spiritual woman.


So I can't help but imagine that her influence on the several city managers she served, as subtle as it may have been, was positive, heartfelt and helpful. Certainly the city is a better place with her, and it will miss her presence at City Hall.


Also noteworthy is the retirement of Tom Harp, the city's deputy director of development. Tom and I became acquainted when I covered Hesperia in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was always accessible and helpful in my quest to get the story, and when I came back to Hesperia he personally welcomed me. I appreciate his kindness.


Flo Collier and Tom Harp are two of five notable city staffers who are retiring from service. Others include City Clerk Vicki Soderquist (she will be featured in an upcoming issue of the Star), senior plans examiner John Regner and assistant city clerk Debbie Bean.


Thank you for your service to our community.