Maintenance and Operations Supervisor Steve Gonzales works to ensure the Town’s high use, high visibility areas are maintained.
By Donyelle Kesler, Digital Information Specialist
When residents begin heading out to their favorite biking and hiking trails and Little League teams hit the ball fields, Maintenance and Operations Supervisor Steve Gonzales is working to ensure all Queen Creek parks and municipal grounds are in top condition and ready for their use.
Gonzales is responsible for the Town’s high use, high visibility areas and also oversees department-wide purchasing, works with contractors and takes lead when needed on Town improvement projects.
“Our parks and municipal grounds are important to establishing and maintaining the quality of life and vitality in our community,” Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney said. “We are lucky to have Steve and his team in our Maintenance and Operation division. These professionals are committed to maintaining the Town land and helping to enhance the quality of life in Queen Creek.”
Despite having multiple individual responsibilities, Gonzales possesses a team mentality and believes that it’s through the hard work of entire Maintenance Division that things run smoothly.
“Nobody does anything without each other,” Gonzales said. “We have a very strong team that takes a lot of pride in what they do. For us, projects are never finished. When people say the parks or projects are looking good, our response is ‘We’re getting close.’”
Gonzales supervises four part-time and six full-time technicians. He makes it a priority that each member of his team has the opportunity to attend the most comprehensive trainings to perform to the best of their ability.
“Watching the team members grow professionally is really rewarding,” Gonzales said. “Seeing them come in green and being able to help them, making sure they get the best training they can so they can do their best, that’s what I enjoy most about what I do.”
And Gonzales’ workload won’t slow anytime soon as he begins focusing on upcoming projects such as the Town’s planned dog park and splash pad, both of which he’ll will be working to create a maintenance plan from scratch. He also recently took lead on a project to implement a Town-wide computerized irrigation system.
“Everyone goes to Steve for everything,” Municipal Grounds Unit Superintendent Rich Purcell said. “He’s really the go-to guy in our division and is always the first one here and the last one to leave.”
Gonzales has worked with the Town for more than eight years and has an extensive resume with certifications in pest management, playground safety inspection and turf grass. He is also a certified arborist, and has received certifications from the International Society of Arboriculture, Professional Landscape Network and the University of Georgia, National Recreation and Parks Association and Arizona Department of Agriculture Office of Pest Management. The days he can use those certifications outside of the office are the ones he says he looks most forward to.
“Those are the days I really enjoy,” Gonzales said. “I’d much rather be out in the field doing work than sitting in the office.”