Solid Waste Management Department
Mayor Annise D. Parker, Mayor-elect Sylvester Turner and Solid Waste Director Harry Hayes offer their heartfelt condolences to the family of Deputy Assistant Director Michael Vaughns who died in the line of duty on Monday, December 21, 2015 at the Charles R. Idlebird Southeast Service Center.
Michael began his career with the City of Houston’s Department of Solid Waste Management in May of 1982, after receiving an honorable discharge from the United States Army. His first job with the department was at the ground level, working as a Refuse Laborer and Refuse Truck Driver. At this level of the solid waste organization, Michael distinguished himself and set a career long pattern of achievement and recognition as a team player, problem solver and “go-to” guy to get the job done.
In 1989, Michael moved over to the Department’s safety group, first serving as a safety technician, then as a safety coordinator and finally as the department’s senior safety representative. The transition was very easy for him and a huge positive for the department as Michael had intimate first-hand experience of the department’s major work efforts. Again, Michael’s growth in the organization and impact on the workplace and workers had everything to do with his positive outlook, can-do spirit and “good guy” attitude. He was a working inspiration to those around him.
Michael left the City of Houston in 1999 to serve as a safety officer for the City of Garland, Texas. He served the citizens of Garland for two years, until being recruited away from Garland by the City of Dallas’s Department of Sanitation. Again, Michael’s positive impact on the workplace allowed him to grow in Dallas, serving as a Safety Manager, Operations Manager and Assistant Landfill Manager. While in Dallas, he continued his professional education and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.
Michael returned to the City of Houston in October of 2014 to serve as the Deputy Assistant Director for Southeast Operations. In this key department leadership position and as a member of executive staff, Michael was the chief officer for Solid Waste Services in Council Districts D, E and I. His group serves nearly 25,000 households on a daily basis, 100,000 weekly and a resident population of slightly more than 500,000. Under Mr. Vaughan’s leadership, Southeast Operations has been a model performance center and heavily engaged with the various area communities and civic clubs.
Michael will be remembered as a dedicated Houston public servant who took great pride in his service to the residents of the City of Houston and his coworkers and employees in the Solid Waste Management Department.