City Engineer Mike Harrison retires after 39 years of service

Clovis City Engineer Mike Harrison poses with his street sign given to him by Public Utilities Director Scott Redelfs. Harrison is set to retire officially on June 15th. (Photo/J.T. Gomez, Clovis Roundup)

June 5, 2023 – On the same night as Fire Chief John Binaski’s proclamation for his retirement, a separate proclamation was held for another city employee.

Mike Harrison, current Clovis City Engineer and employee of the City of Clovis for 39 years is set to retire on June 15th.

His allotted time during the Clovis City Council meeting began with Planning and Development Services Director Renee Mathis speaking about Harrison and his time spent at the city.

“Over his 39 year career with the City of Clovis Mike has had seven positions within the engineering division, all within planning and development services…In his final position as City Engineer, he was often called upon to solve a problem, fast-track a project, or just adjust to any shifting priorities.”

Harrison has worked in seven positions for the city including Engineering Aide I, Engineering Technician, Senior Engineering Technician, Junior Civil Engineer, Assistant Engineer, Associate Civil Engineer, and finally the City Engineer since 2016.

Just as Binaski was honored, so did Harrison receive a city street named “Harrison Highway”, by Public Utilities Director Scott Redelfs.

Described by many including Redelfs to be “steady and reliable”, Harrison was also described as being able to recall many of the city’s engineering plans by memory, a trait uncommon and important to city planning.

Councilman Matt Basgall appreciated the work that he’s done for the city and in both his time as Police Chief and now Councilman, saw how Harrison was able to find a way to take care of certain problems.

Mayor Pro Tem Vong Mouanoutoua stated that a part from the proclamation read to Harrison that stuck out to him was how Harrison was called a “trusted advisor”.

“You have the grace and ability to explain [situations] so that people can understand, and I appreciate that so much about who you are.”

Mayor Lynne Ashbeck placed Harrison in the “rare category” of City Employees of the past such as Dwight Kroll and Harry Armstrong who have “…been there long enough to know why we did what we did.”

“There’s not too many 39 year employees left and the word that stuck out to me is the word ‘legacy’…A lot of why the city works is because of the work that you did.”

Mike Harrison himself spoke to the large crowd and City Council and employees and thanked them for the “kind words”.

“I stayed here because I’ve loved the work, I’ve loved all of the people that I’ve worked with. They’re such an awesome team and I couldn’t have had a better job in the world.”

Harrison said that his 39 years has gone by fast and he looks forwards to the possibility of vacationing more often.

“I want to thank this council for the respect they’ve shown the staff and the support they’ve shown the staff. It makes it a place where I feel comfortable going to work every day.”

JT is a recent college grad with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is mainly interested in sports and entertainment but covers a wide array of subjects. He currently writes for the Fresno State Baseball Dugout Club. JT looks forward to continuing his career at the Clovis Roundup and is excited to be working closely with a community that is very proud of its people.