When it's time to retire, it's time to retire. For Huntington Beach's Community Service Director Jim Engle, that time was last year.
The Fountain Valley resident did retire, but he never ended up leaving.
Instead, he stayed on part time to get the Community Services Department through its share of $3 million in budget cuts and to reorganize the department in a citywide overhaul.
The year turned out to be the most stressful of his career, but with his last day in sight, Engle said it was all worth it.
Engle, 61, finally retired just before Christmas after more than 37 years in the department. From center director in 1973, when he was fresh out of college and had recently moved to Huntington Beach, Engle climbed the ladder until he took the helm in 2003.
"I've been lucky," he said before Christmas. "I've been here 37 years. I've had seven different positions. So I've been blessed in that I've been allowed to move around, get different experiences and move up the ladder."