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Posted on December 28, 2018 at 4:21 PM by Kristy Bansemer
One of the things I enjoy most about being mayor is each year getting to select someone from the community who has helped make Derby the special place it is and naming them a recipient of the Mayor’s Award of Excellence. Well, this year it was an easy decision. I’ve just chosen Jeff and Rhonda Cott to receive the Mayor’s Award of Excellence for 2019.
Jeff and Rhonda own and operate the hometown Derby newspaper, the Derby Informer. It’s been a great example of community journalism for many years, and it has adapted very well to the digital age. Having strong local media has been critical to people being informed and feeling connected to their schools and their town.
Because of their success in the newspaper business and their commitment to Derby, Rhonda and Jeff spearheaded the recent effort to publish a book about Derby’s history to celebrate our sesquicentennial in 2019. It’s the first of its kind and promises to provide lively conversation for family gatherings during the holidays. I could not be more pleased with the time and talent the Cotts put into gathering photographs and unique Derby stories for this book.
People who have lived in Derby a long time like me know Rhonda led the Derby Chamber of Commerce from 2004 to 2012 and that both she and Jeff spearheaded many annual Derby Days celebrations. Their leadership provided the foundation for creating fond memories of growing up in Derby for many people.
Something you probably don’t know is that for the past couple years, Rhonda has a routine of going to McConnell Air Force Base twice a month to share information about Derby with airmen who have recently arrived and are looking for where they want to live and send their kids to school. She volunteers her time to help young families feel encouraged to be a part of the Derby community, and her efforts have made a difference. McConnell and Derby have a tight relationship. Airmen are always welcome here!
The Cotts have been committed to serving their community for many years and in ways too numerous to list here. This award is for their sustained and devoted service to the Derby community.
This award was established in 2002 as a way to honor an individual, family, organization, or business that has contributed significantly to the Derby community. The award will be presented at the January 8 City Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Derby City Hall, 611 Mulberry Rd. I hope you’ll join me in congratulating Jeff and Rhonda Cott and thanking them for their service to our community.
Randy White, Mayor
Published in the Derby Informer on Dec. 5, 2018.