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Seattle City (spot)Light: Steve Crume

Steve Crume will celebrate 20 years at City Light in July. He’s part of the Asset Management and Large Projects division as the Joint Use and Streetlight Engineering Manager. “The best way to describe Joint Use is anything that you put on a utility pole that doesn’t belong to the utility – all your communication networks like 4G and 5G, small cell, wireline communication, things like that. And, streetlight, well, it’s in the name,” he said with a laugh.

Steve grew up in the middle of Indiana’s farm country. “I always had ambitions to see the world, so I joined the Navy,” Steve shared. “I spent time as a crewman in P3 aircraft hunting submarines. For career advancement, I quit flying, earned my commission as an Aviation Ordnance Officer and spent the rest of my career either on aircraft carriers or embarked on them as part of an air wing.” He now lives in Lynnwood with his wife Linh.

In this week’s (spot)Light, Steve talks about his time in the Navy, woodworking and his childhood stint in the amateur circus.

“I retired from the Navy after 24 years. I’ve traveled the world many times and have visited twenty-four percent of the world’s countries. I’ve seen more of the world than I have this country! After retirement, I was hired at City Light as an Electric Service Representative. I spent two years doing that before getting promoted to a pole engineer. But I wasn’t really a true pole engineer; the utility was at the very early stages of forming Joint Use. I was brought on to help build the program. In 2008, Joint Use became an official unit and in 2011, I inherited Streetlight Engineering.”

“Before retiring from the Navy, I had no idea where I wanted to be. That is until I stepped foot in the state of Washington. It was in 1991 on Whidbey Island. The second I was here, I knew that this is where I wanted to be. At the time, I was young enough to start a second career. I have a background in construction and used to teach Electric Theory and Fundamentals while in the Navy – that’s what got me in the door at City Light. I really thought I would go to Boeing with my aviation background, but I’m very happy my career unfolded the way it did.”

“I’m an avid woodworker. I like to build and work with my hands – bookcases, magazine racks, end tables, custom-made tables. In fact, there are some Christmas gifts that have been on my to-do list for several years now! I’ve even made a desktop chess set including all the pieces and a set of checkers to go with it. I absolutely love woodworking.”

“One thing people might not know about me is that I spent seven years in an amateur circus. I started when I was ten years old as a clown…some people say I’ve never stopped! I rigged and set-up the acts. I also performed. I did a bullwhip act and was a trapeze catcher. I was also the top guy on Roman ladders. There’s a documentary about it, ‘Circus Town USA.’ I guess you know you’re old when you go to a museum and see pictures of yourself!”