At the end of this month Urs Inglin will be retiring after 32 years’ service in planning administration in Neuheim.
When a journalist of the Zuger Zeitung went along to interview the 65-year-old, the conversation took place in the very same room where he had had his initial interview for the job, the first ever planning department secretary, on Monday 2 November 1987.
The official date of his retirement is September, but, as it is holiday time, he will be retiring at the end of this month. His successor, Anita Schedler has already been appointed; indeed, she has been working at the municipal offices (which can be seen in the background of the photograph) since 1 May.
As mentioned, back in those days in the Eighties, there was no planning department, planning applications previously dealt with by the secretary to the council. However, with his qualification as a draughtsman and subsequently having attended technical and planning administration courses, the then 33-year-old, who hails from the canton of Schwyz, was duly appointed. Much was still new to him, though fortunately he had had experience of being on a planning committee. Naturally much time in those initial months was spent consulting many documents and catching up on cantonal law.
It is only natural, too, that he looks back with fondness on those early days, the office then having wooden panelling and a fitted carpet, the only equipment a typewriter and telephone with circular dial. These days the office is much brighter, and it has a beamer, too. And there were only three other employees, the secretary to the council and his two secretaries.
What is striking is how much Neuheim has grown over the past three decades. Whereas in1987 the population was 1,429, today it is 2,255. As to what major projects he has been involved with over these years, he mentioned those relating to water provision and drainage in the Nineties, the construction of the Neuhof multi-purpose building and military accommodation, also in the Nineties, as well as the construction of the Lindenhalle and sports ground in 2008 and, more recently, the new school building. As to private developments, the planning expert saw many of these through, too, for example the Sihlbrugg, Neuhof Süd and Zehnderhof ones, to mention just three.
Despite the new developments, the municipality has always tried to maintain its village character, the historic centre remaining intact to this day. Indeed, the 350-year-old farm in the centre is a listed building.
Inglin’s home is only a few minutes’ walk from the municipal offices, nevertheless, he has never had any difficulty separating work from leisure time, having been the chairman of Menzingen Football Club for many years and a member of Baar Tennis Club. There were times, however, when it was not uncommon for him to be approached by locals on the street asking him about various projects.
Looking back over more than three decades, Inglin has worked with six mayors, taken part in over 300 meetings, and given permission for some 1,000 projects to go ahead.
It is only natural he is leaving with mixed feelings, proud on the one hand to be able to walk through the municipality and see so much of what he has been involved in, though with an element of sadness that his working life has come to an end. At least he will now have plenty of time to go walking, cycling and skiing, and improve on his golf.