The legacy of Boyle County Public Health Director Roger Trent will undoubtably center on the smoke-free city ordinance. But when he retires this summer, he’ll head for the country.
“I’ve got a 100-acre farm, and I plan to pursue those interests and do some extensive traveling,” he said.
Trent will leave his position at the end of July after 12 years as the head of the Boyle County Health Department.
He said he will greatly miss working with staff and community members, but his time has come.
“I’m old,” he said. “I’ve just reached retirement age.”
During his directorship, Trent successfully lobbied the Danville City Commission to pass an ordinance banning smoking in all enclosed places of employment, including seating areas of all outdoor arenas, stadiums and amphitheaters. Trent said the day the measure went into effect, Aug. 8, 2008, was the proudest of his career.
“Smoking is the most preventable cause of death in our country,” he said.
To further reduce the negative impact of nicotine, Trent started weekly smoking cessation classes at the health department, which have helped many participants kick the habit, said David C. Liebschutz, chairman for the Boyle County Board of Health.
He said the board has been continually impressed with Trent’s willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty.
For example, when a Louisville organization began giving away excess cheese and dairy products several years ago, Trent drove his pickup truck to collect the food to distribute to families in need in Boyle County.
Trent also headed emergency efforts to help families affected by the ice storm in 2009, Liebschutz said
“He was out there in the forefront trying to get people into places so they’re warm and taken care of,” he said.
Liebschutz said Trent has done such an excellent job as director that he was reluctant to accept his retirement announcement last week.
“I said that I was going to kidnap him and tie him in his room,” Liebschutz said.
But the board will have to find a replacement for Trent and already has begun advertising the position. The window to apply closes June 9, and the board hopes to name a new director in early July, Liebschutz said.
Trent has agreed to remain on during July to help train the new director, Liebschutz said.
“I think that shows his investment in the community for him to spend the first 30 days of his retirement helping us get acclimated and ready to move forward,” he said. “He will certainly be missed, and I hope we can find somebody equivalent.”