“My attitude is not to have confrontation but to have a meeting of the minds on common ground,” said Ronald “Buddy” Hardy as he sat in his office at City Hall this week.
Hardy assumed the position Monday morning and is now working on organizing this year’s Beeville City-Wide Spring Clean event.
He said the daylong opportunity for people to dump everything from old refrigerators and sofas to discarded fencing and building materials will be held on April 18 at the City Yard.
Hardy is no stranger to Beeville. He was born in Corpus Christi and graduated from Alamo Heights High School before spending three years at what was then Texas A&I University in Kingsville.
He moved here in 1950 when his father, Clifford Hardy, arrived to open Hardy Motors, a Dodge dealership.
The family closed the business years ago and Hardy has worked at many jobs since.
He was a service writer for the General Motors dealership in George West, worked for a tractor shop and was head of security at Sikorsky Support Services at Chase Field for a while.
Today, most people in town know Hardy as the president of the Beeville Volunteer Fire Department, a position he has held for more than 10 years.
Although he has made a living working various jobs, his family, his faith and the fire department have remained his first priorities in life. Hardy has been a member of the BVFD 46 years now.
“I look forward to being of some help to keep our city clean and healthy,” Hardy said.
Kathleen Echevarria was the first person to hold the position after the city received some funding assistance from the Coastal Bend Council of Governments two years ago.
Hardy said he is not sure he can fill Echevarria’s shoes. “But I’ll try,” he said.
Echevarria and Code Enforcement Officer Lanny Holland organized the first Spring Clean event last year and the response from the public was overwhelming.
The approach Holland and Echevarria took was to encourage people to clean their own property and that of their elderly or disabled neighbors. The city simply gave people an opportunity to discard trash and rubbish at the city yard without paying a fee.
At the height of the event last year, pickups and cars with trailers were lined up both ways from the gate to the city yard, but those waiting for a chance to dump were patient and helpful.
Holland expects a similar response to the project this year.