When Carlos Valenciano joined Kansas City municipal government more than half a century ago, Ilus Davis was mayor. Valenciano and other operators processed data using punch cards and a giant, refrigerator-sized IBM tabulating machine on the third floor of City Hall.
After witnessing a lifetime of changes in the constantly evolving computer and IT worlds, Valenciano is retiring as the longest-tenured City Hall employee. It’s been 53 and 1/2 years of continuous service since that first day on the city payroll, Nov. 18, 1963.
Valenciano, 75, showed himself to be a man of few words as the City Council heralded his city service Thursday. “I had fantastic supervisors,” he said, explaining his longevity. “Thank you all very much.”
The next closest employee, a fire captain, has served 48 years.
Valenciano earned many promotions over the years and ended up as an IT senior analyst. He says he always enjoyed the work and his co-workers, but his wife, Carol, now has plenty of projects to keep him busy at home.
Valenciano got to do the honors three years ago, when the city flipped off the switch on the last of its mainframe computers. No one was sad to see that piece of equipment go, but that wasn’t the case with Valenciano’s departure, as City Councilman Scott Wagner and City Manager Troy Schulte spoke fondly Thursday of his service and commitment to the city.
His boss, Information Technology Manager Mary Miller, said Valenciano actually hired her when she started at the city 28 years ago. At the time, he was working in a data entry and computer operations group, but Miller said Valenciano was adept at dealing with constant updates in the information technology industry.
“He’s been able to adapt and change with the technology,” she said.