For the past six years, Wayne County Engineer Trevor Wolf has made the job of the Board of Supervisors easier. If there are complaints to be made, it usually pertains to the condition of roads.
David Dotts, Duffy Kester and John Sellers now have another hole to fill, as Wolf is moving on to be closer to his aging parents and the family farm.
Wolf’s last day will be May 18, after which he will fill the role of Taylor County Engineer. The county seat is Bedford, not far from where Wolf grew up on the other side of the Ringgold County line.
“He’s not doing it to get more money,” Kester said. “He’s doing it for an honest reason—to be near his folks. I appreciate that.
“It’s going to be a big loss. He’s doing a lot of good things with bridges and box culverts and keeping these roads up. He undoubtedly makes our jobs much easier.
“I can give you an incident. Our people that handle our workman’s comp insurance—we have a rugged man, Ed Morrison, who runs that division. He’s not kind to a lot of people. But he kept bugging us about some little thing he wanted us to get done. One of them was to get a doctor that would be the doctor we went to at all times. In Wayne County, that’s just about impossible.
“Trevor sat down and figured out how he could do this and satisfy Ed. There were six questions that Ed had. Trevor just sat down and started banging them out—telling Ed his plans for this, his plans for that. And I’ve been around Ed for 10 years now, and I never did see that type of smile on Ed’s face. Trevor didn’t have him in his hands, I’m not saying that, but he had Ed’s mind working right with his. It was a piece of work to watch him handle that.
“It was just a few days later Trevor called me and told me he’d be leaving.”
“It was a difficult decision,” Wolf said. “Wayne County’s been great. The Board has treated me fantastic. The road crew has been great. We’ve built up the bridge program. None of them have shied away from a project or from trying something new.
“Especially north of town on Highway 14, we did that bridge rehab, where we drove piling and kept the existing superstructure—I thought that was a lot of fun.
“I wasn’t ready to move on, but I just thought if I didn’t take this opportunity, I’d be kicking myself 10 years from now.”
After graduating from Iowa State University in 2009 and working for a few years in Winnebago County, Wolf began his duties for Wayne County in July of 2012. It was closer to home.
“I’ve been farming all my life,” Wolf said. “It’s just down to Dad and me. He’s starting to get a little older.”
“We have two applications out right now from engineers,” said Dotts. “We expect to have more before the deadline.
“We will really miss Trevor, because he’s been a great engineer. He’s been an asset to Wayne County. He’s done a great job getting the roads and bridges up in shape. He’s going to be missed, but I understand why he’s leaving, too.
“When he told me that day, I said, ‘I sure hate it, but I understand why you’re doing it.’”
“That comes with the job,” Wolf said of handling public concerns. “One thing I can say about Wayne County, we didn’t get a lot of complaints. Everyone is pretty good-natured. The public’s been great, and that’s pretty hard to find. That’s why it was tough to make the decision to leave, because I know a lot of county engineers don’t have that opportunity.”
“Replacing him is going to be hard,” Kester said. “He was very good at handling the public, whether they were mad or happy.
“I know, after the fact, he would need a sounding board, and that was me or someone else, but he liked to get it off his chest and get going again. I was always impressed he could hear it once, tell you about it, and you’d never hear it again.”
“I hope to find another engineer with that kind of temperament,” Dotts said. “We’ll just have to see.”