Hagan bids farewell to county commissioners

Hagan bids farewell to commissioners

Washington County Public Safety Director Roger Hagan was honored Tuesday, Dec. 18, with a reception during the Washington County Board of County Commissioners meeting in Chipley.

Published: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 04:22 PM.

CHIPLEY — It had been a week of good-byes for Roger Hagan, but Tuesday’s farewell to the Washington County Board of County Commissioners was obviously an emotional one for the longtime public servant.

“For 36 years I have not had a job, I have had a privilege, an honor,” Hagan said. “I will try and answer any questions you might have for me, but will spend most of my time saying “thank you” for the wonderful opportunity that has been afforded me to serve our great county these many years.

Hagan is retiring as the county’s Emergency Management director, but he has also served as county administrator and interim administrator during his more than three decades as a public servant. A native of Wausau, also retired last week as town council member and mayor, having served in town government for 24 years.

“On Feb. 2, 1977, I borrowed a suit and met the board for the first time for my interview,” Hagan said. “That morning Sheriff Fred Peel stood on the stair landing of the second floor of the Washington County Courthouse and cried out the notice, ‘Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye the Board of County Commissioners in and for Washington County is now in session.’ From that moment I was hooked.”

Hagan said even after all this time, the bailiff’s cry still excites him. “I only wish today we did it with the same decorum as we did in the past. For in that proclamation we hear the call to participate in our system of government where the authority of the governing is derived from the consent of the governed.” He added that if he were to ever write his memoirs, “I can’t think of a better title than, ‘Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye.’”

Hagan said he was born in a house that had neither electricity nor indoor plumbing until he was four years old. After living in Panama City for two years, Hagan’s father acquired Hagan’s great-grandfather’s old farmhouse and the family moved back to Wausau. “Until I was in high school we had neither a telephone nor indoor plumbing, although REA had brought electricity to the rural countryside.”

During his career, Hagan said he has worked for 18 configurations of the Board of County Commissioners, including 29 men and one woman. He has also worked with four clerks of court, three county judges, three sheriffs, three property appraisers and two tax collectors.

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