50 Years on the Job for Earl Predom
Note: This article was written by Local 681 member Michael Walsh and published in the West Haven Voice. We thank Michael and The Voice for their work.
L-R: James Burns (representing Mayor John Picard), Earl Predom and Local 681 President Lynn Jaqua.
West Haven - City brass and rank-and-file workers saluted West Haven’s longest-tenured employee on the patriarch’s 50th anniversary Jan. 19.
Department of Public Works mainstay Earl Predom was bestowed with a citation from mayoral Chief of Staff James T. Burns Jr. on behalf of Mayor John M. Picard lauding the veteran dispatcher for “50 years of exceptionally meritorious contribution to the West Haven Department of Public Works” during a surprise reception attended by Public Works Commissioner Beth A. Sabo and more than three dozen co-workers at the highway maintenance garage on Collis Street.
Among those turning out to fete Predom were Personnel Director AnneMarie Paone-Mullin, Lynn Jaqua, president of Local 681 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union, and Larry Dorman, public affairs coordinator of AFSCME Council 4 in New Britain.
Hired as a laborer at the Front Avenue incinerator on Jan. 19, 1960, by then-Democratic First Selectman Gregory D. Morrissey, Predom, then 20 years old, began his half-century civil service career when West Haven was still a town and the former City Hall was still standing. It was so long ago, in fact, that during snowstorms, crews had to use shovels to manually spread the sand from atop snowplows.
In the late 1960s, the city closed the incinerator and laborers like Predom were made building maintenance custodians, a job he held until 1975. That year, Predom got his start as a temporary radio dispatcher at the Public Works Department, going full time four years later.
Now a spry 70-year-old, Predom said he has no plans to retire.
The lifelong Westie credits his family as being the engine that keeps him going. “It’s the truth,” Predom said. “I have a big family.”
Boy, does he ever.
Predom and his wife of 49 years, the former Ruth Hitchcock, have six children — five boys and a girl — and 18 grandchildren, including three sets of twins.
Before his abiding career with the city, the public works fixture attended the old West Haven High School on Main Street.
Predom’s long-standing career as a dispatcher has included intermittent stints as a maintenance worker from 1987-92. He has been in the dispatch center at the Collis Street garage ever since.
When asked about his secret to longevity and advice for those aspiring to follow in his footsteps, the humble man of few words summed it up in as many: “Keep working hard.”
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