Bob Mills, Director of Electric Production, is retiring after 37 years of service with the City of Garnett.  A special reception will be held in his honor on Thursday, May 27th, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. at the Garnett Fire Station.  The public is invited to join the City staff during Thursday’s reception to thank Bob for his many years of dedicated service to the Garnett community.

In November of 1984, Bob began his career with the City as a Power Plant Operator.  He was promoted to Acting Assistant Superintendent of the Garnett Power Plant in 1989 and assumed the position of Acting Power Plant Superintendent in 1992.  In 1993, Bob was named Superintendent of the Power Plant.  After receiving his OSHA Certification in 2009, the title of Safety Director was added to his duties.  In March of 2015, Bob was promoted to Director of Electric Production.

During his time with the City, Bob supervised the installation of the newest General Motors engine in 1999, which increased the generation capacity of the City and the installation of the SCADA system, which allowed the electrical system to be monitored and controlled from the Power Plant.

While working for Garnett, Bob has actively participated in the electric and gas industry in Kansas.  He represented Garnett through the Kansas Municipal Energy Agency (KMEA) and Kansas Municipal Gas Agency (KMGA), both non-profit joint action agencies created by state law to serve low-cost electricity and natural gas to Kansas cities that own their respective utilities as well as Kansas Municipal Utilities (KMU).

Bob has served in various leadership roles in the KMEA for many years.  He served several terms as Chairman and Vice-Chairman for the energy management project which provides electricity to the City of Garnett and continues to do so.  In 2015, Bob was elected to serve on the KMEA Executive Committee, and he currently serves as the Vice President of KMEA.  Bob’s leadership has been an integral part of several significant projects including the purchase of a portion of a large power plant in Pleasant Hill, Missouri, the development of a lineman services crew currently serving in western Kansas, and the acquisition of a small engineering firm in Salina, Kansas.

Bob has also served on the Joint Board for Administration for the KMEA/KMGA for the last several years.  He has been active in the KMU which provides training and legislature services for municipal utilities throughout Kansas.  He has served on the KMU Mutual Aid Advisory Committee since it began.  Bob has been the recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards from both KMEA and KMU.

As a city employee, he used his skills with metal and wood to build and repair streetlights, bike racks, signs, helped with the renovation of the Santa Fe Depot with the installation of the caboose, the walk bridge at the South Lake, Garnett 150th displays, many Christmas floats and the docks at the lakes and reservoir.

He is very involved in his community.  He became a Hunters Education instructor in 1979 in Greenwood County and since 1984 in Anderson County.  He received the Order of the Buffalo in 2013.  Bob was recently named the Region V Instructor of the Year for 2020.

Other community participation over the years includes Lake Garnett Sporting Club – officer and board member, Anderson County LEPC, Harvesters, Garnett County Club former board member, officer and grounds chair, NRA Women on Target, Youth Trapshooting, coached youth soccer, basketball, baseball, high school boys and girls golf, and Parks and Recreation Board and Planning and Zoning Board member.

Bob is married to Vicki Mills and has three sons and four granddaughters.

As he leaves, Bob takes with him a great deal of knowledge of the electrical and gas industry and power plant operations.