These days when miniskirts are suddenly in and Michael Jackson is out, a man like Winnie Drumheller is hard to find.

Since 1966 he has been the Alexandria government employe who handles site plans for every new building, the city's facilitator of change. Yet Drumheller himself changes about as much as an Egyptian pyramid.

He's worn the same Hamilton watch for 30 years. He's resoled his brown Florsheim lace shoes four times. And almost since the day in 1946 that he was randomly paired with Marion Thompson at the Lovingston High School graduation in rural Nelson County, Va., he's been married to her.

Drumheller, 59, alerts everyone from the city archaeologists to the City Council when new development plans are filed and works out the glitches in the blueprints.

His office on the fourth floor of City Hall is covered with rolled-up building plans. "I'm overrun with them, they're like cicadas," he said.

Curiously, his office walls are bare, as they have been for decades.

"I've never been a person to hang things up on the wall," he explained. "I like what Pearl Bailey said: 'If I have to put a sign on me to say what I is, I ain't.' "

Drumheller can look at buildings throughout the city and tell stories of how they went up and why they almost didn't. He knows so much about past and future projects that City Hall still finds it hard to believe he's retiring next month.

"He's an institution that we'll sorely miss," said Mayor James P. Moran Jr.

Residents know Drumheller as the silver-haired man with the baby-soft skin who has missed fewer than six Planning Commission meetings in two decades.

City employes know him as the guy who, even during hourlong discussions on sewer systems, looks as content as if he were sipping iced tea on a cool beach.

Noting his constant state of cheer, some have wondered if it's linked to his hearing aid. "He must tune us out," said one colleague. "How else could he he always be so happy?"

Drumheller laughs when he hears this. "They're always kidding me about tuning them out . . . . I've really enjoyed some of those meetings."

"I suspect he could probably do his job in his sleep," said Richard Pelkey, deputy director of transportation and environmental services. "He could tell you about not only the buildings that are out there, but about all the {rejected} plans that were filed on the sites."

Pelkey predicted, "There is going to be a lot of people who miss him because there is going to be a lot more work for a lot of people."

Carl Winfred Drumheller grew up on a farm in Nelson County, halfway between Lynchburg and Charlottesville. He says he's been called Winnie "always."

Fresh out of high school, he arrived in Alexandria in 1947. For seven postwar years he worked as a ticket officer for Greyhound Bus Lines.

In 1954, he moved to a bookkeeping job for a building supplier. Six years later he joined the city. Hired as a clerk in the maintenance division, Drumheller was soon named site plan coordinator, a job he has now held under six city managers.

"A first-class gentlemen" is what Henry Thomas, a well-known Alexandria lawyer, calls Drumheller.

Bernard Fagelson, an Alexandria land use lawyer since the late 1940s, said he has "never ceased to be amazed at {Drumheller's} patience, his attention to detail and his dedication to his job."

Since he first started receiving and reviewing site plans, Drumheller said only one developer, "a guy from Maryland," tried to bribe him.

"He wanted me to hurry along the process and asked me what it would take to do it," Drumheller recalled. "I said, 'Listen, fella, I know what you're talking about and you just got yourself on the back burner.' "

Another time, Drumheller said a grateful builder who had desperately needed help in filing all the right documents for a project brought him "the biggest box of candy you ever saw."

When Drumheller told him he couldn't accept it, the builder did something that Drumheller described as "right cute."

"He ate one piece and said, 'Would you mind throwing away the rest?' Then he walked away."

What strikes Drumheller most as he looks back over the years is how increasingly complicated and controversial construction has become.

In Alexandria there is little empty land left and what remains is exorbitantly expensive. Traffic is one big headache.

What all this means, he said, is "things we used to handle over the phone have to be written down . . . taxpayers are more vocal . . . and the politicians are more responsive" to voters.

This year for the first time, residents have been included in the site plan coordinating meetings Drumheller chairs between the city staff and the developers.

When Drumheller retires July 31, he and Marion, who retired as an Alexandria city account clerk in 1984, may built a house on land they own in Appomattox. They currently live in Springfield.

But he's not quite sure what he's going to do after leaving the city. After all, he's not the kind of guy to make a rash decision.

As he said, "I just want to get away from dockets and developments, and meetings and telephones and see how I like it."