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Jebbia, Connelly Recognized for Years Of Service to City

WHEELING — Members of Wheeling City Council on Tuesday recognized two longtime employees who will soon be stepping away from their important posts, leaving big shoes to fill.

Russell Jebbia, the city’s Public Works director, will be retiring after the end of this month, and Tom Connelly, director of Building and Planning, will be leaving the city for a new job with the federal government after the end of this week.

Both men attended their final Wheeling City Council meeting as members of the city staff, received rounds of applause from those on hand Tuesday night and were recognized by council for their many years of service to the city.

“It’s my pleasure to recognize two long-standing employees who are leaving the city of Wheeling – one is moving on to another position with the federal government, and the other is retiring after many, many years of service,” Wheeling City Manager Robert Herron said.

Connelly will be relocating “just up the street” to the Federal Building in downtown Wheeling, where he will take on a new role as the facilities manager.

“He has served the city for almost 20 years and has been an excellent city official,” Herron said.

“He’s done an excellent job of managing the planning department and working with the Planning Commission, working on the Comprehensive Plan Update, he was promoted to a department head position a couple of years ago, has been in charge of planning, building and zoning for a couple of years and has just done an outstanding job.”

Herron said Connelly is going to be missed when he leaves at the end of the week.

“He was one of the first administrative hires that I had when I began my duties 20 years ago,” Herron said. “So I want to congratulate Tom for his years of service with the city of Wheeling and wish him nothing but the best as he begins the next phase of his career with the federal government.”

Jebbia has put in 44 years of service and has served in a number of roles aside from being Public Works director for many of the more recent years. He also served as assistant city manager for a number of years, Herron noted.

“Rusty has a wealth of information and has a tremendous amount of responsibility,” Herron said, noting that Jebbia oversees a total of around 170 city employees in various departments and divisions. “Water, Water Pollution Control, Vehicle Maintenance, Operations, Sanitation, Engineering all report to Rusty as the Public Works director, and he is going to be sorely missed.”

City leaders applauded Jebbia for his 44 years of excellent service to the city and congratulated him on his upcoming retirement.

“I want to offer him best wishes for a very successful and happy retirement,” Herron said.

“Congratulations both to Tom and to Rusty,” Mayor Glenn Elliott added.

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