TAMPA — Steve Daignault is retiring as Tampa's public works and utility services administrator.
"Steve's whole life has been in the service of others, and he did a great job for the people of Tampa," Mayor Bob Buckhorn said in a statement announcing Daignault's retirement and the plans to search for a replacement. "He certainly made my transition to mayor very easy. He leaves big shoes to fill."
Daignault, 62, was hired eight years ago by then-Mayor Pam Iorio to oversee the city's public works, solid waste, water, wastewater, stormwater, transportation and contract administration operations. He earns $153,000 annually. His last day is Feb. 3.
At his job interview, Iorio asked Daignault if he could handle two big jobs — the construction of a new Tampa Museum of Art, which also encompassed rebuilding Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and making improvements to Kiley Garden, and what became a $100 million project to widen and rebuild 40th Street in East Tampa. He said yes, and both were finished during her administration.
"I really feel like I kept my promise to the mayor," he said Thursday.
Raised in Tampa, Daignault received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of South Florida. Upon graduation, he joined the Navy and spent 24 years in the Navy Civil Engineer Corps, where his assignments included serving as officer in charge of construction at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. While in the Navy, he earned a master's degree in engineering from the University of Florida.
After retiring as a captain in 1995, he became the public works director and city manager in Cape Coral, then worked in the private sector before joining the city of Tampa.
After his retirement, Daignault plans to travel with his wife, Victoria.
They expect to drive across Canada, the home of Daignault's grandparents.