Shaffer was introduced to members of the City Council on May 25 by Water Superintendent Cesario Vela.
Shaffer moved to Texas from Winnemucca, Nev., in 2004 and found a home.
“I’ve never been out of the state since,” he said.
After finishing high school in northern Illinois, Shaffer spent a year and a half at ITT Tech in Evansville, Ind., studying mechanics.
That was what he was doing when an accident changed his career.
“A stroke of luck got me into this business,” he said, holding up his left hand to show off a stiff finger.
Shaffer actually lost the finger in an accident but doctors sewed it back on. Today the finger does not work too well.
Fortunately, he found a job driving a truck for the City of Portland, and that was where he met Vela.
“Mr. Vela pushed us to get our licenses,” Shaffer said. And he took that advice.
Today, Shaffer has a Class B license in wastewater treatment and a Class C license in water distribution.
Shaffer was in Port Lavaca when he saw that Beeville needed a wastewater superintendent, and he applied for the job.
The new city employee said he doesn’t mind making the long drive from Port Lavaca to Beeville and back each day.
Shaffer said the first item on his list of projects is to get the wastewater treatment facilities up to the level that will please the state inspectors.
“First and foremost, I want to get the plant back up to where it’s supposed to be,” Shaffer said.
That means making some repairs is the top priority.
As far as meeting the capacity requirements, Shaffer said the Moore Street plant is at 55 percent of capacity and the plant at the Chase Field Industrial and Airport Complex is at 60 percent.
The city is required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to have an expansion plan ready by the time it reaches 75 percent of capacity.
“We’ve already got a plan for Chase Field being approved,” the superintendent said.