1. Media Center
  2. News & Updates

Public Works Director Terry Hatfield Announces Retirement Sept. 1

Published on August 7, 2015

One of Huntsville’s longtime administrators, Terry Hatfield, announced today he will retire September 1, after nearly 40 years of service with the City. Hatfield served as Public Works Director for the past seven years and previously held key positions as City Administrator, Human Resources Director, Legal Investigator and Planning Commissioner.

“I have enjoyed being a part of the city’s dynamic change through the decades and seeing Huntsville evolve from an agricultural community to one that embraced the space industry and advanced manufacturing,” said Hatfield. “I am most proud of how the city has maintained its prosperity by being smart on development, annexations, and increased job diversity.”

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said Hatfield proved to be a capable and experienced leader across the spectrum, one who has truly made a difference and left his mark on the city. He said Hatfield lifted Public Works to an entire new level of professionalism by demonstrating what it means to be a servant leader.

“One thing I will always remember about Terry is his commitment to his department and to this City,” said Mayor Battle. “During ice and storm days, Terry slept at the facility with his men, making certain they had pizza and coffee and whatever they needed to keep the city running. It is difficult to find someone with that kind of dedication.”

A Huntsville native, and alumnus of Lee High and the University of Alabama, Hatfield describes the eleven years he served as City Administrator as the most challenging of his career. He says one of the most rewarding has been in Public Works. Here, he took over a department that was largely viewed for garbage collection, and led the department to increase its abilities in construction, maintenance, sanitation, street clearing, street paving, and countless other vital operations.

Reflecting on his time with the City of Huntsville, Hatfield recognizes employees for their dedication, expertise, and sacrifice. He is thankful to have been able to serve his hometown for 39 years and take part in the success of Huntsville. In retirement, Hatfield said he looks forward to golf, travel and spending more time with his family.

“It has been an honor and privilege to work for the citizens of Huntsville and with the employees of the City,” said Hatfield. “The Public Works employees are the most admirable and incredible employees I have ever worked with and they have a loyal commitment to making this a better city, no matter how unfavorable the conditions.”

Mayor Battle Appoints Chris McNeese as Public Works Director

Hatfield will be replaced by another Huntsville native, Chris McNeese. McNeese has 17 years of experience with the City of Huntsville as a civil engineer and previously worked in the private sector for a consulting engineering firm. He holds a degree in civil engineering from the University of Alabama Huntsville. During his tenure with the City, McNeese has managed and directed a large variety of public improvement projects to include multi-million dollar federal, state, and local infrastructure improvements.

“We are pleased to bring Chris in as an engineer who understands the processes of public works,” said Mayor Battle. “He will be a great addition to our senior administrative public works team.”

McNeese said he is looking forward to stepping into his new position September 1.

“The City has an outstanding staff and we are losing one of the best,” said McNeese. “I am excited to take on this new challenge and continue the positive impact Terry has made in his time in the Public Works Department.”

McNeese and his wife of 19 years, Jennifer, have 14-year old twins.