By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
It was a joyful and often tearful celebration Friday afternoon as acting city manager Mike Cantrell shared memories and laughs with city employees and the community one last time.
Cantrell retired after 32 years with the City of Del City. He has served as acting city manager since February 2020 following a long career with the public works department.
City employees and community leaders showered Cantrell with praise, jokes and gifts. They spoke of his servant leadership, keen sense of humor, work ethic and loyalty.
“His leadership brings out the best in those around him. He never takes credit for any of the success, but he is always the first to take the blame,” said Brittany Parrott, assistant to the city manager.
Jennifer Martin, with the American Legion Post 73, congratulated Cantrell, an Army veteran, for his retirement and awarded him with a certificate of appreciation and a special pin.
State Rep. Andy Fugate presented him with a State citation in honor of the day.
J.D. Hock, who has replaced Cantrell as acting city manager, thanked him for his patience and guidance. Hock then presented him with a ceremonial key to the city. Hock, who has an affinity for track suits, jokingly gave one to Cantrell as a gift.
Michelle Caruso, president of the Del City Chamber of Commerce, said Cantrell is a one of kind public servant. She presented him with a plaque as a symbol of appreciation.
“I’ve never met anyone like you. There is not another you,” she said.
The police and fire departments also thanked Cantrell for his service and commitment to public safety.
Mayor Floyd Eason and the city council presented Cantrell with a painted wooden American flag with the U.S. Army logo. Listed on the back are the names of the city council members and city staff.
“We’re all in complete agreement that Mike, we appreciate what you’ve done and we hope this token represents our sentiment,” Eason said.
Eason then announced that the city is naming the water treatment facility after Cantrell. It will be rededicated as the Michael R. Cantrell Water Treatment Plant.
Other city council members and guests shared their appreciation for Cantrell.
The retirement celebration concluded with a slideshow and cake.