Harold J. Flannery

Harold was born in 1898, and graduated from Santa Clara University in 1920 with a B.S. in civil engineering.

He began his career in San Jose in 1922. In 1942, he assumed the Department of Public Work's top post. His tenure there included the period of enormous growth during the 1950's and the 1960's. During this time he oversaw the development of the City of Santa Clara and San Jose Water Pollution Control Plant through secondary treatment. He worked on the separation of the sewer system, from the combined system to separate storm water and sanitary sewer systems, and the building of many of the city buildings, including the current City Hall. He also worked on the development of the street system, the initial development of the Municipal Airport, and much of the park system. In 1954, Harold received the American Society of Civil Engineers' Samuel Greeley Award for his long service in public works. He retired from his position as head of the city's Public Works Department in 1964, after serving the City of San Jose for forty years.

During his long career and following his retirement, Harold served on many boards, remained active in various civic groups and founded several organizations. He was the first president of the San Jose Municipal Employees Federation. In 1926, he was a founder and charter member of the Engineers' Club of San Jose, and was president in 1934. He also founded the Santa Clara County Association for Good Government, as well as being a charter member and board member. He is credited with being instrumental in developing the present retirement system for all miscellaneous city employees.

He died on 29thDecember 1987 at the age of 89, survived by his three daughters, Joan Schmitz of Fort Thomas, KY; Mary Barrett of San Francisco; and Kathleen Toney of San Rafael.

In 1998, the School of Engineering at Santa Clara University posthumously awarded him the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award - it's highest honour - in recognition of his outstanding contribution to society and the engineering profession.

[his portrait is illustrated above; courtesy of Santa Clara University]