MORGANTOWN — Save the best for last, they say.
In Bobby Doyle’s case, the last of his 30 years working for Monongalia County may not have been the best, but he’s not likely to forget it anytime soon.
Doyle, who retired Friday as the county’s facilities director, answers instantly when asked what stands out when he thinks back on his career.
“I can tell you this year has been the craziest,” he said.
“When I first started, I’d get calls at all hours of the night because we had inmates in the jail and they’d flood the jail and get into everything,” Doyle recalled. “This year has been kind of like that. I remember me and my wife were at a birthday party and I’m sitting off by a flower bed on a conference call because someone tested positive [for COVID-19] and we had to get the justice center closed and scrubbed down. It’s been constant.”
But to hear others tell it, that’s just who Doyle is — the person you call when something needs done.
Jimmy Smith, who heads MECCA and the county’s office of emergency management, said the pandemic has made that clearer than ever.
“Anything we’ve needed during this event, Bobby has been there for us,” Smith said. “We bother him on the weekends. We bother him in the evenings. We have a need for fogging in our building, he makes it happen within 24 hours. So Bobby, I want to thank you. Not just for the Office of Emergency Management, but for all the citizens of Mon County for what you’ve done.”
From essentially remodeling the entire county courthouse interior, to overseeing the creation of the new justice center to countless other projects, big and small, Doyle developed a reputation for watching the bottom line.
In 2020 alone, the county’s in-house construction crew saved taxpayers just over $1.8 million across 10 projects when compared to contract rates.
Monongalia County Commission President Sean Sikora called Doyle a “jack of all trades,” noting “You’ve been our eyes, our ears and our spokesperson.”
“Budget time was always a fun time because that’s when I really got to know how much you saved this county and how much your footprint and fingerprints are all over this county,” Sikora said.
Doyle was hired by the county as a maintenance supervisor in October 1990. Eight years later, Carlos Goss came on board. Going forward, Goss will be the one getting the late-night phone calls when something goes wrong.
Doyle said the maintenance and construction crews that worked under him have become family. Goss joked that sometimes the family would grumble about the boss’ penchant for penny-pinching.
“I’ve said that if you wanted anybody to watch the county’s money, get Bobby. We account for every nickel we spend. I would hope to say that all the departments do that as well as he does, because he did take care of the county’s money. He absolutely looked out for the taxpayers,” Goss said. “I think they would thank him and say, ‘Job well done.’ ”
As thanks, Doyle was given a certificate of appreciation from the county commission and, at his request, lifetime access to the county gun range that he developed for use by the sheriff’s department and other local law enforcement.
Going forward, he plans to spend a little more time at home in Star City, where he’ll work part-time providing code enforcement for the town.
Before taking up that new post, however, he offered thanks to everyone he’s worked with over the years, from commissioners to elected officials to office staff and cleaning crews.
“I’ve always said, you surround yourself with good people and they’ll make you look good. That’s happened in the 30 years I’ve been here,” Doyle said. “I’ve had a good life here working for this county and you all have been a big part of that. So thank you.”