Worcester Public Works Head Retiring After 36-Year Career

Worcester Public  Works Head Retiring After 36-Year Career
Retiring Public Works Director John Tustin is pictured, from left, with Commissioners Chip Bertino, Jim Bunting, Josh Nordstrom, Jim Mitrecic, Ted Elder, Bud Church and Diana Purnell. Submitted Photo

SNOW HILL – During their April 6 meeting, the Worcester County Commissioners paid tribute to Public Works Director John Tustin, who will retire later this month following a 36-year career with Worcester County Government.

“Many have contributed to the success of Worcester County, but none more than John,” Chief Administrative Officer Harold Higgins said. “His hard work, integrity and honesty are second to none. But these are not John’s most endearing qualities. During the 1996 Thanksgiving holiday, my first in the County, John invited me and my family to break bread with his family. His goodwill and kindness to a stranger will never be forgotten by me.”

Tustin began his career as the county engineer on September 16, 1985, was appointed as the department head for the Water Wastewater Department in 1994, and was promoted to director of the newly-formed Department of Public Works in February 1997, where he oversaw the roads, water and wastewater, solid waste, maintenance, and fleet management divisions. He has dedicated his career to expanding and improving public services, and he championed modernization of the progressive maintenance programs for county-owned buildings and grounds.

“The past 36 years have certainly been a highlight in my life, and I have no regrets,” Tustin said. “If I would do it all over again, I would not change a thing. The employees that work for the county are amazing and many solid friendships have developed over the years.”

Throughout his career, Tustin spearheaded numerous infrastructure projects that have played an important role in shaping Worcester County. In 1986, Tustin played a key role in acquiring, designing, and developing a 724-acre property for the Central Landfill in Newark. Since that time, he has overseen the development of five landfill cells at this site. He initiated the recycling program in 1992, and he oversaw the design and construction of Samuel Bowen Boulevard, the cap and closure of three old landfill sites in Pocomoke, Snow Hill and Berlin, and headed pump station upgrades in Ocean Pines as well as multiple wastewater treatment plant expansions. He also coordinated upgrades and improvements to all the Worcester County boat ramps.

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Tustin was involved in the design and construction of the 1988 County Jail expansion, the construction of Healthway Drive, the Worcester County Health Department office in Berlin, and the Ocean Pines Library.