Eventful career coming to an end

Published 8:22 am Thursday, March 26, 2015

Though her job title is a bit of a misnomer, City of Bogalusa Director of Human Resources Sandy Bloom has worn many hats during her 18 years on the job.

But come Monday, March 30, Bloom’s time will be her own as her official retirement begins. Her immediate plans are attending a Main Street Convention in Atlanta on Monday with Bogalusa Main Street Program Manager Robin Day.

“I am going to be active on the Main Street Program Board because we have some momentum there. I am going to support Robin and the merchants down there,” Bloom said.

Bloom said serving under four mayors allowed her to be more versatile.

“With all the different mayors, my job got diversified,” Bloom said. “I’ve handled a lot of different things like grant writing, administration of some of the grants and involvement in the community. Back during Katrina, it was all hands on deck no matter your job description to make it through that time. And I’ve done some intergovernmental relations and economic development.”

Bloom said the position had its up and downs.

“It is the best job I’ve ever had. It didn’t pay the most, but it was the most fulfilling,” Bloom said.

Bloom took a prolonged pause when she was asked what she enjoyed most about the position.

“Being able to make a difference, not only with the people I worked with in City Hall, but to the people in the community,” Bloom said. “The hardest part about the job is that government moves slowly. I don’t think you can work in a job for 18 years and not have some frustration.”

Bloom and her husband, Claude, plan to travel extensively, including spending quality time with their nine grandchildren and four grown children.

“All nine grandchildren live within an easy drive. We intend to spoil those grandchildren as much as we can. Claude and I love to travel. When we moved here, we moved here for his job. Now it’s our home.”

The Main Street Convention is March 30-April 2. Bloom received a scholarship for the registration. She is paying her own travel expenses.

As expected, 18 years at one job allows for some interesting stories.

“The hardest time for all of us was the days after Katrina. None of us were experienced in that kind of disaster,” Bloom said. “There were a lot of demands, but not a lot of resources. I think that brought us closer together as a group.”

On a brighter note, Bloom was selected the 2005 Bogalusa Citizen of the Year.

She said Bogalusa’s July 4 Centennial Celebration was special.

“The Centennial was a very proud thing for those of us who worked on that. All donations were from private donors and no funding was from the city. We were very pleased with the outcome of that,” Bloom said. “To be here during the 100th anniversary was an experience not many people get.”

Bloom was cleaning out her desk on Monday in preparation for her final day.

“I’m just cleaning out and looking through 18 years of accumulation and making sure it will be a smooth transition for the new people,” Bloom said. “I anticipate we’ll have a very qualified person in this position.”