Comments From A Reader

Yesterday I received an email from a reader in Renton, Washington and after checking with him to make sure it was OK, I want to share his thoughts with you. These are trying and difficult times on so many levels that sharing positive thoughts and feelings makes me feel better about today and the tomorrows that await us.

From: Michael Stenhouse <>
Subject: The First Contractor
Date: January 21, 2021 at 11:27:44 AM EST
To:” <>
Good morning Greg,

My December copy of Pacific Builder and Engineer was on my desk this morning as I walk into my office a little after 5am. I was very pleased as I turned to the second page to see your article titled “The First Contractor.” (December 3, 2020)

I’m 60yrs old, was raised in a very strong Christian home environment, and been in the construction industry since I was 14, and Public Works since I was 25, starting in my home town of Chelan, Washington.

Needless to say it’s not the Godliest environment, so your article was a blessing to read this morning, especially with the changing political powers.

I have 90 employees under my supervision, and I strive everyday to be an example of God’s work in my life. I do not hammer my beliefs into anyone here, but they know where I stand and who stands with me.

We maintain the infrastructure and fleet of 600+ vehicles and equipment for Renton, a city of 105,000 in population, we are busy every day. God gives me the wisdom daily to maintain this 27 sq mi radius of issues.

I make a point of being positive everyday no matter the situation hoping that it rubs off on others. At our entry gate I have posted two signs, one as you come in that says, “Treat Others the Way You Wish to be Treated,” and another as you exit, “Always Give More Than You Promise.” Our employees have taken this to heart and our work environment, believe it or not, is very positive here. At 5:30am people are laughing and having a good time, and hearing that from my office makes me smile.

We make an effort to recognize employees when they have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help citizens. I have a file of hundreds of emails from tax payers thanking us for the work that has been done for them, and happy that we are not the “typical” stereotyped city workers.I know that God is the only one that has given me the wisdom for this position, but also has given me awesome people in my life to feed me advice and additional wisdom to be successful. But with that wisdom God has given me, comes the responsibility of somehow showing God’s love to others here in a government entity. Always have to be politically correct you know. 😊

Reading your article re-assured me that there are others out there in this industry with the same struggles and blessings, and I applaud you for the article.

May God give us both the strength and courage to keep moving forward during these difficult times.

Stand strong Greg, you and I know who really is in control.

God bless you and your family.  

Mike Stenhouse

Public Works Maintenance Services Director

Water/Streets/Waste Water/Surface Water/Solid Waste/Fleet

3555 NE 2nd Street,

Renton, WA 98056