To The Editor:
This letter of appreciation goes out to Jeff Van Landyut, who is retiring as director of public works for the city of Woodstock.
As chairman of Woodstock's Transportation Commission, it has truly been an honor and pleasure to work with him on the many issues the commission faced, including the revision of the transportation plan for the city, the preparation for the Route 47 reconstruction and the forthcoming bicycle plan and map.
He has provided guidance to make the commission more meaningful, effective, and efficient. That leaves out patience with our propensity to believe (in the beginning) that everything can be done at once and with little or no cost. With his knowledge, we avoided mistakes that come with the lack of understanding of logistics unique to a municipality.
Eight years ago, Jeff brought forward the concept that the commission can work with Woodstock Community Unit School District 200 engineering students on projects and problems that face the city. The district created an elective capstone class for Project Lead the Way students to bring together their accumulated engineering skills over their first three years.
He joined us in helping the students select a project, spent the time to make sure it was relevant fitting into future city plans and introducing the students to experts for specialized help. Everyone involved benefitted.
At the end of the school year, he arranged for the students to make their presentations to the City Council and the Transportation Commission. I have been told that this continuing cooperation between a municipality and school district only occurs in Woodstock.
Jeff has helped make Woodstock the very unique and special place that it is to live, and I wish him only the best as he retires.