Hartselle Native Bob Sittason New General Manager
Bob Sittason, named General Manager by the Hartselle Utilities board in a unanimous vote in August, has had a relatively smooth start taking over the utility from retired General Manager Ferrell Vest.
“Things are going extremely well,” Sittason, who joined Hartselle Utilities in November 2004 as Accounting and Finance Manager, says of his first few months in his new position. “We feel we have a reliable system, and we want to maintain that reliability and continue good service to our customers.”
“People don’t always realize that Hartselle Utilities is not the same as the City,” Sittason continues. “The City Council appoints our Board, but we are a separate entity.”
“When Ferrell Vest became General Manager in 2004, his goal was to improve the working relationship between Hartselle Utilities, the city and the schools, which he did,” Sittason explains. “That is something we’ll continue. I’ve known the new Mayor, Don Hall, and most of the councilmen for many years, and believe that’s the way we need to operate. We will maintain open lines of communication. We do a lot of in-kind services, and I’ll go to the City staff meeting each week. We’ll do everything legally possible to support the city and our schools,” he explains.
Other than his time at the University of Alabama and two years immediately after that in Birmingham, the 51-year-old has lived in Hartselle his entire life.
After Sittason graduated from college in 1983, he worked in public accounting and private industry. Interestingly, in 1985, the first utility that he worked with was Hartselle Electric, before the electric system merged with Hartselle Water, Sewer & Gas in 1989 to become Hartselle Utilities. He went on to work with several other systems in the Tennessee Valley, and that experience helped him when he was hired as Accounting and Finance Manager at Hartselle Utilities. And now that he has come full circle, Sittason says, he intends to stay at Hartselle Utilities until he retires. “This is my last stop,” he emphasizes.
Sittason’s family has long been active in the Hartselle community. “My dad was a dentist, my mom was in real estate, and they have a history of service to this community,” he says. Sittason himself has been the radio voice for Hartselle Tigers football games for over 20 years.
“I felt like I could bring continuity and longevity of service to this job – this is a way of providing service to the community as well. I feel very blessed and fortunate in this opportunity, and for the confidence that the board has shown in me.”
Sittason and his wife, Daphne, have two daughters, Raley, a nursing student at the University of Alabama, and Madeline, a junior at Hartselle High School.