Trafalgar town utility, street supervisor job open again

Trafalgar is again without a utility and streets superintendent for the second time within a year.

The town’s most recent superintendent, Loggan Axsom, left the post last week to move on to another job at a private company.

Axsom has no bad blood with the town of Trafalgar, and he did not feel the workload of the job was too much, he said. This new job was an opportunity, both personally and financially, that he could not pass up.

“The company I’m going to is bettering myself, and has more room for me to grow financially and just in general,” Axsom said. “I have no issues with Trafalgar. I’ve enjoyed working there … I hate to leave, but for myself and my future, I feel like it’s in my best interest.”

Axsom declined to name the company he moved to, but said he would generally be doing project management work in his new role.

Axsom took on the Trafalgar utility and streets superintendent job in the interim in July 2022, taking over after the longtime superintendent Lee Rodgers resigned unexpectedly. He was officially made the superintendent later last year. Axsom had been with the town of Trafalgar since September 2021, when he joined as a utility technician.

Rodgers’ July departure from the town caused some fanfare when he sent a letter to the Daily Journal detailing that his reason for leaving stemmed from an intense workload and toxic work environment created by some town elected officials.

This caused the town council to think about possibly splitting the superintendent job into two positions — one for streets and one for utility and wastewater. But those plans were later scrapped.

Axsom said he does not think the work is too much for one superintendent and two utility technicians to handle, and he told that to town officials.

“Do I feel like it was too much for one person? Not necessarily, but they took some of the work that Lee was doing, and that was not put on me,” Axsom said. “They talked about splitting my position into two. And I advised them I really don’t think it would help. It’s not needed for how they wanted to split it.”

The utility and streets superintendent is the second highest-paid position in Trafalgar, behind the police chief, making a little over $60,600. Axsom also did not ask for a raise for himself in the town’s 2023 budget, when most employees got raises.

In the interim, while Trafalgar looks for a new superintendent, the town is hiring a contractor to serve as the certified wastewater operator to ensure Trafalgar is compliant with the Indiana Department of Environment Management, or IDEM. This person will also be available for other needs, including helping oversee the town’s wastewater expansion project that is underway, said Jessica Jones, town council president.

With this temporary fix, the town council will have time to search for a new permanent utility and street superintendent. Jones wants to focus on finding someone who can stay long-term and grow with the town.

“That’s our temporary solution while we take our time and to really find someone that’s going to be the best for our town,” Jones said.

Jones also wished Axsom the best, and understood why he was leaving for a new opportunity, she said.

Axsom said he was honored to serve the community as superintendent.

“I wish the town all the townsfolk all the best wishes, and hopefully, who they have coming next continues to do what’s best for the town and the people there,” he said.