The city has started a search with plans to hire someone by late September. Mochizuki said he doesn’t see anything special in his style, attributing his no-stress approach in part to the “good people” in his department, but also to his attitude about problems. “The attitude you take is everything can work out,” he said. “You really shouldn’t stress on the job. You have to concentrate on getting it done. Then, if you have good people to do it, you will stress less.” Mochizuki also doesn’t take credit for the personnel in his department, saying that many of the 115 public works employees were here when he came to Whittier in 1986. Mochizuki said he didn’t even let traffic problems get to him. WHITTIER – Public Works Director David Mochizuki has spent two decades facing challenges – from improving Whittier’s water and sewer systems to dealing with residents’ complaints over traffic. But Mochizuki, 58, of Cerritos never let such problems faze him. Even his boss, City Manager Steve Helvey, is impressed by what he called Mochizuki’s apparent lack of stress. “He seems very calm and self-assured,” Helvey said. “He has brought an aura of quiet efficiency to the department. He is very competent in handling the workload and making sure the details are taken care of.” And while Mochizuki retired Friday after 21 years with the city, including 20 with public works, he won’t be leaving Whittier anytime soon. He will be at his desk as usual Monday, after agreeing to a contract that will keep him on the job through the next three months until his successor is appointed. In 2005, the city installed two traffic circles – one on Youngwood and another on Beverly Drive – but then removed them a few months later after tremendous public protest. “You can’t take anything personally,” he said. “If you take it personally, you won’t survive in this position. Our job is to make the very best recommendation. Whatever (the City Council) would like to change, we change.” His job changed in 1992 when he took over responsibility for trash collection and landfill, water and the city’s fleet. Before that he was only responsible for engineering and street and civic center maintenance. Mochizuki has put his style to work in Whittier for the past 21 years, but he’s worked for government since 1976 when he went to work for the Los Angeles County Road Department. Before that he worked for three years at Rockwell on the space shuttle. He left because of job instability, he said. “When I was working there, Apollo was going down and the shuttle was going up,” he said. “They were hiring all sorts of engineers for the shuttle, but on the other side of the building they were laying off people for Apollo.” Ironically, he didn’t even know where Whittier was when he applied for the job. “The first time I came to Whittier was for my interview,” he said. [email protected] (562)698-0955, Ext. 3022160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!