Retired Smithfield Public Works Director Honored


Smithfield Mayor Andy Moore (left) presents a plaque April 6, 2021 honoring retired Public Works Director Lenny Branch (center) for his 26 plus years of service to the Town of Smithfield. Branch is joined by his wife, Tracy. Johnston County Report Photo 

Recently retired Smithfield Public Works Director Lenny Branch was honored April 6th by Mayor Andy Moore and members of the Smithfield Town Council.

Mr. Branch started with the Town of Smithfield in 1992 cutting grass in cemeteries. He returned to school for a few years to obtain the skills need to advance. In 1996, Branch became a technician and later a supervisor in the department. In 2007 he was named the Public Works Director, a position he held for 14 years supervising 26 people. Branch oversaw operations of sanitation, streets, drainage, facility maintenance, cemeteries and fleet maintenance (town garage). Altogether, he has worked for the Town just over 26 years.

In 2018, Lenny suffered a massive heart attack and had a defibrillator and pacemaker implanted. Branch said ongoing medical issues forced him to make the recent decision to retire earlier than he would have liked.

“It’s bitter sweet. I get to spend more time with my kids but I will miss everyone. I had to work all the time during snowstorms scraping roads. During the snow I was working. I couldn’t play with my kids in the snow. They spent time playing in the snow with my neighbors,” Branch told Johnston County Report. “I want to spend more time with my kids. I loved the job and loved everyone I worked with and worked for. The citizens were awesome. I will miss them most of all.”

Lenny Branch addresses the Smithfield Town Council in September 2013. Johnston County Report Photo

Town Manager Michael Scott said Lenny will be also missed. “Lenny was always the ‘go to’ person when something needed to get done and needed to get done soon. Lenny constantly put the Town and its citizens as his top priority. He treated everyone as most important and always gave of his time and energy to meet their needs and requests. Lenny did all this while displaying the most infectious smile and demeanor off all the directors I have had the pleasure of working with the last 30 years. He was certainly a gem for our community.”

Mayor Andy Moore added, “Citizens are generally satisfied when their trash gets picked up on time and their streets are maintained. Lenny and his team always do a fantastic job of meeting the expectations of our community. Lenny was a hands on team leader, who didn’t mind getting out from behind his desk and riding the streets to ensure that our roadways are safe to travel, that our trash is collected, that our storm drains and ditches are clear, and that our public areas are kept attractive and welcoming.”

“As mayor, I receive many citizen compliments, and very few, if any, complaints about Lenny’s team, and his personal customer service. Lenny’s dedication and service to the Town will undoubtedly be missed. I wish him the best in his well-deserved retirement!”

Lenny said he still plans to live in Smithfield but will spend as much time as possible with his wife, Tracy, and two children, Corey and Trevor, fishing at the coast and enjoying his boat.

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