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Chief's Monthly Message

Sep 02

[ARCHIVED] Valuing City Employees

The original item was published from September 2, 2016 9:51 AM to September 21, 2018 9:26 AM

Guest Column: Jenny Turner, Human Resources Director
Jenny Turner
How many services can you name that are available 24/7/365? Not many. While police and fire services come to mind, I also think of city water and wastewater staff who respond to emergencies. Whether in the middle of the night or on weekends, they fix broken lines and service disruptions, like on August 19 when seven inches of rain fell in three hours on a Friday evening. During the rain, they were blocking flooded streets. For many days after, they removed blockages from drainage ways and made repairs.

The dedication of our public employees is amazing when you consider the personal reward versus personal cost. Police and Fire employees routinely work shifts not convenient for their home life, and they give up holidays most of us get to spend with our families. Wastewater employees are called back to work an average of three times a week for emergency locates, line calls, plant alarms and lift station alarms. Water staff respond after hours an average of two times a week for main line breaks, emergency locates, customer calls and system alarms. Why do they do it? Sure, they get overtime pay, but most City of Derby employees also are motivated by a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of those they serve. They are committed to providing a high quality of life to the community.

At the City of Derby, we value our employees and the sacrifices they make to ensure necessary services are provided. Casey Cornelison and Dean Belt, both Senior Operators at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, are two of our unsung heroes.

Casey has been with the city for 21 years and Dean for 26 years. What a commitment! They protect our waterways and environment by treating the wastewater which leaves all of our homes and businesses. They ensure main lines are clear to reduce sewer backups. Is this a noble profession? Without question it is. Casey and Dean are examples of the many dedicated employees who work day in and day out to ensure Derby’s high quality of life.
How can you demonstrate you value your city employees? Acknowledge them with a simple “hello” or wave when you see them working in the right-of-way. Say “thank you” when they’ve provided you with responsive and exceptional service. You’re the reason they serve.

Published in the Derby Informer on Aug. 31, 2016.