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After one last storm, longtime Buffalo public works commissioner Steve Stepniak is retiring

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Chris Caya/WBFO News
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A change in leadership is on the way for Buffalo's Department of Public Works with the retirement of longtime commissioner Steve Stepniak.  

After 32 years with the City of Buffalo, the past 11 as public works commissioner, Mayor Byron Brown announced Stepniak's retirement following a winter storm update Thursday afternoon. Brown says it's fitting that Stepniak would conclude his career fighting a blizzard.

"I can relate circumstances where Commissioner Stepniak has literally been up three days in a row dealing with weather events," Brown said. 

"We honor him and we will certainly miss him as our commissioner of the Department of Public Works." 

Stepniak has been one of the public faces of the Brown administration's storm-fighting efforts over the years. He said building his team has been the most satisying aspect of his career.  

"It's not individual things that you accomplish, it's team events you accomplish. We've brought young professionals in and they've taken the ball and ran with it, and it's been a good thing for the city and us," Stepniak said. 

As for his future plans, Stepniak said he has several offers, but first he is going to spend some time with his family. An interim replacement has not been named.