Our Town mayor has "sharp" skills

Published 06/03 2013 06:17PM

Updated 06/06 2013 01:54PM

ST. JOSEPH -- Being a people-person has helped one man in both his careers. B.J. Hackler is the mayor of St. Joseph. It's a title he's held for more than 30-years. Before that, he was a hair stylist. That's what brought him to Our Town St. Joseph. WCIA-3's Erica Quednau finds our more.

Hackler says it was the perfect location to start a business. Now, 50-years later, he's still doing hair, but is also juggling a lot more responsibility.

"I've always believed it myself. If it's a job that you treat like a hobby, you will excel with it."

That's why, when you catch B.J. Hackler working at the salon, there are treats, coffee and laughs involved.

"I enjoy my friends that come in and we talk about target practicing, we talk about fishing, fishing a lot, of course. I like being with people. You have to be a people-person."

You also have to be good at styling hair. It's something Hackler realized right out of high school.

"The second day I was in school, I was wrapping up permanent on a customer. It was sort of a natural thing; hair-cutting come to me."

He's been doing it 56-years; 49-of those here in St. Joseph.

"We have a range of people. I have one customer who's now in assisted living, but she was 101 years old. I take care of her, then I bring these kids in for their first hair cut. It's sort of something you enjoy doing."

It's a thought Hackler also has for his other job; being mayor.

"If you have a good board that you enjoy working with, which I do have, it makes the job easier."

He spreads his passion for both into all his work.

"We have sort of a hometown atmosphere here. I think the best thing is when people, if people have a tragedy in their family, I feel comfortable enough to be with them."

Hackler works 4-1/2 days a week at the salon then, of course, being mayor is a 24/7 kind of job.

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