Hiram Twp. – At the end of February, the Hiram Township Road Services Department bid farewell to Don Bello, upon his retirement after 14 years of service. According to Road Supervisor Tom Matota, Bello joined the Township’s Road Services team after having retired from a similar role with the Portage County Engineers Office. When he joined the township, he brought 30 years of experience to the Department. “We were lucky to take advantage of his experience, not only on the hydraulic excavator, his specialty, but for snow plowing, roadside mowing, chip and seal work, and with the township’s dump truck.
Matota has a practice of cross-training all employees on all available equipment, so that each team member has a working knowledge and can step in to operate all the township’s equipment. Replacing Bello, however, will mean losing a wealth of technical knowledge and experience. Matota admits he will be hard-pressed to fill Bello’s shoes, given the years of job experience that Bello brought to the table.
Matota explains, “It will be very difficult to replace a person of Don’s caliber. I can’t say enough about what an asset he’s been to our organization.” Matota went on to explain how finding a candidate with such a broad base of experience to step into this position isn’t likely. He anticipates it will require many hours of training, once he finds a suitable applicant.
But Bello’s value stretched beyond his skills and work ethic. “Ever the gentleman, he was easy-going and personable,” Matota shared. “Don was always willing to do whatever was needed to get the job done. I wish him well, but I’m very sorry to see him retire.”