Sugar Land, TX – The city of Sugar Land’s longest serving employee hit 40 years of service last month.
Born and raised in Sugar Land, Public Works Utilities Operator Randy Stock was 17 years old when he took a job with the city’s water division in 1978. At that time, the city consisted of a handful of neighborhoods north of U.S. Highway 59. The city’s population was just under 8,800.Stock has been part of a team that has helped ensure quality city services during a period of rapid growth. His contributions have been directed toward the city’s most precious resource -- a safe, reliable water supply for one of the state’s fastest growing cities.
Stock helped provide seamless services during a number of annexations, including the most recent historic annexation of New Territory and Greatwood. The annexation increased the city’s population by more than 30 percent from 87,367 to approximately 117,000. The additions of Covington Woods, Sugar Creek, First Colony, RiverPark and Avalon also occurred on his watch.
“Employees such as Randy are the reason we are continually able to keep our commitment to excellence in the delivery of public services for current residents, as well as future residents,” said City Manager Allen Bogard. “Randy is an excellent example of the many front-line employees who selflessly serve our citizens day in and day out.”Sugar Land’s most recent Citizen Satisfaction Survey showed high levels of satisfaction for services provided by employees like Stock. Even higher marks were given for contributions during disasters.
Stock was on the front lines during Hurricane Harvey making sure Sugar Land’s water supply remained safe. His work throughout the historic storm was a continuation of previous efforts that began with Hurricane Alicia in 1983. He also served during Hurricanes Ike and Rita, as well as Tropical Storm Allison. Following a tornado that hit First Colony Mall in 1998, he operated a backhoe to remove unstable, structural debris.
During Stock’s 40-year career, he’s seen the transformation of a sleepy bedroom community into a progressive full-service community that offers the highest levels of services. It’s a change that’s been marked by careful planning, extensive community input and selfless public service from employees like Stock.
A lot has changed since he began working in Imperial Sugar’s “old John Deere Building.” According to Stock, the company allowed the city to use the building as a base for water operations. Since that time, the Public Works Department has moved into a more modern facility at U.S. Highway 90A and Gillingham Lane, a location Stock remembers was previously occupied by a barn and horses.
Since those early days in 1978, Stock has seen his department grow from one water plant and expand to meet the needs of the city’s residents. The city now operates 12 groundwater plants and five elevated tanks. The addition of a state-of-the-art surface water treatment plant in 2013 was the largest capital improvement project in the history of the city at the time.
A Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System was developed and implemented for groundwater facilities, enabling Stock and others to monitor and control the groundwater plants remotely. The city has upgraded water disinfection systems in the distribution system. In addition, water quality testing, equipment and maintenance have been enhanced and expanded, adding to the complexity of Stock’s work.
“I couldn’t be more proud of employees like Randy,” said Bogard. “He’s proof that we are consistently able to develop and retain quality employees committed to the highest levels of public service. He is among the many tenured employees who go above and beyond every day to serve our citizens.” Sugar Land has 22 employees who were hired in the 1980s. This year, 54 employees will celebrate five years of service, 27 employees will celebrate 10 years of service, 23 employees will celebrate 15 years of service, 13 employees will celebrate 20 years of service, 10 employees will celebrate 25 years of service and three employees will celebrate 35 years of service.Photo Captions: Randy Stock at Work: Stock was born in the Sugar Land hospital. His father worked for the school district, and the family lived on Lakeview Drive. He wanted to work at the refinery with his friends but was offered a job in the city’s water department and accepted. At the time, Public Works included just water and streets. Times have changed.
Randy Stock Saves Deer: Stock arrived at the Riverstone Water Plant early one morning and found a fawn trapped inside the plant. The mother deer was watching from a nearby levy outside the fence. The fawn ran from Randy when he got close, but he eventually caught up and carried the fawn to the other side of the fence. When he let go, the fawn ran to its mother watching from the hilltop.