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Morris County bids farewell to Superintendent of Buildings and Ground Chris Walker

Retiring Buildings and Grounds Superintendent Praised for 25 Years of Service

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – Morris County Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds Christopher A. Walker was honored by the Morris County Board of County Commissioners Wednesday night, as they and staff thanked him for 25 years of selfless dedication and support to the county in advance of his official retirement on Sept. 1.

“Throughout the years at all the ceremonies we do annually — 9/11, our tribute to our veterans on Memorial Day and Veterans Day — all the set up takes a tremendous amount of work.  It was always Chris and his crew doing a phenomenal job — 3.3 million square feet of buildings and structures were taken care of by Chris and his crew. And of course, there is always the big projects, like the Public Safety Training Complex, the Family Justice Center, the Central Avenue Complex and refurbishing the cupola atop the historic Morris County Courthouse. Chris was always there,” said Commissioner Stephen Shaw during the board’s public meeting in Morristown.

The Commissioners presented Superintendent Walker an official resolution of honor denoting his achievements, along with an etching of the Morris County Courthouse. The etching bears a placard that simply reads: “Thank You, Christopher A. Walker For 25 Years of Distinguished Service To the People of Morris County.”

Superintendent Walker grew up in Dover, N.J. and became a union electrician after high school before he was hired on Feb. 9, 1998 by Morris County as Senior Electrician in the Building and Grounds Division. He worked through the ranks over the years to become Assistant Superintendent of Public Property in January 2008. On Oct. 1, 2009, he was promoted to Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, beginning a 14-year tenure that was consistently marked by his talents for leadership, professionalism and dedication.

“Our buildings are spotless. Anywhere you go, you hear compliments about the condition of Morris County facilities, whether it be the Academy, here (in the Administration and Records Building), or out on the other end of the county. It was Chris’s responsibility. He always got it done,” Commissioner Doug Cabana said.

Superintendent Walker’s personal commitment to his career was always outstanding, as he and his division regularly adapted to the changing demands of the job, from tackling snow, ice storms and hurricanes to navigating the uncertainty of a global pandemic. He would strap on his tool belt to help during any emergency, removed snow every winter at the Courthouse complex and once rescued an 81-year-old resident during a blizzard.

“Chris is the most professional and flexible bricks and mortar man I ever met. Every accomplishment achieved by the County had Walker at the focal point,” said former Morris County Administrator John Bonanni.

Each of the Commissioners went on to praise Mr. Walker during the work session, which included former Commissioner Kathy DeFillippo who came by to wish him well in his retirement.

“You can tell through the work that you do how much you respect the county, the people that work with you and the people that you serve in the broader community. Thank you for making Morris County a special place,” said Deputy Director Christine Myers.

“Thank you for everything you’ve done for the county and the people. I wish you the best of luck in your next chapter of your life,” said Commissioner Tayfun Selen.

“You took pride in this county, you took pride in your work, you took pride in your people. Year after year, since I’ve been here, you set the example for a lot of us to make sure we do good and do even better for the people of Morris County, and for all the employees that are here,” Commissioner Tom Mastrangelo said.

“Chris you’re one of those unsung heroes. So many things that you have done throughout the county has been behind the scenes. Your work has been above reproach. You have always been wonderful in your quiet way, and I wish you a wonderful retirement,” said Commissioner Deborah Smith.

“On behalf of the board, thank you. It was not only the people in this room you served, but all the residents in Morris County who came through all the facilities over all the years… Chris, to you and your coworkers, thank you so much,” said Commissioner Director John Krickus.

Walker also was honored in remarks made by Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon, Clerk Ann F. Grossi and Surrogate Heather J. Darling, each of whom presented their own proclamations and honors.

“You took pride in your work. It’s more than a job for you. You made things happen all times of the day and night. It was a real honor to work with you,” said Sheriff Gannon.

“I’ve known Chris for thirteen years… Even when work was difficult, he would say ‘I’ll find a way to do it,’” said County Clerk Grossi.

“Chris Walker and his team always made himself available to support the Surrogate’s Office, and in fact, rebuilt the office suite from floor to ceiling and from beam to beam. He went above and beyond to accommodate the Surrogate’s Office,” said Surrogate Darling.

Walker will officially retire on Sept. 1, 2023, at which time he will be replaced by Assistant Superintendent Mike Drury. Mr. Drury has worked alongside Mr. Walker in Morris County’s Buildings and Grounds Division for the past 24 years.

“I’ve been through many different boards, three different administrations… In Buildings and Grounds, we service the end user… all the departments, all their divisions, all the courts, the constitutional offices, everybody. All day, every day. These buildings never sleep. We’ve got staff here from morning through night. Most of the time we’re working in front of the public and everyone here… The Buildings and Grounds’ mission and our philosophy that we’ve developed over the years isn’t going to change,” Walker said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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