By Cecilia Nasmith
Dozens of long-serving Northumberland County employees and new retirees were recognized at the Jan. 30 county council meeting.
Warden John Logel offered words of praise for “the knowledge and skills you bring to our organization, and the core values you demonstrate every day as part of your work of making the county a wonderful place to live, work and visit.”
While chief administrative officer Jennifer Moore normally presides at these twice-yearly celebrations, she was the first one of 66 recognized, as Logel announced she was marking 10 years of service. After accepting congratulations, she proceeded with the honours to staffers representing every department from paramedics, economic development, roads and community services to workers at the Golden Plough Lodge and Material Recovery Facility.
In addition to herself, the group recognized included employees of five to 20 years' standing, as well as five retirees with terms of service ranging from 19 to 29 years.
“For every new idea generated, for every problem solved, for every question or concern addressed, for every project completed, you truly have an impact on our community,” Moore stated.
Of the retirees, only paramedic Blake Manley was present, and he took the opportunity to offer both thanks and kudos.
“I do better on the job looking after people than speaking publicly, but there's something that should be said today,” Manley said.
“This county is way ahead of other counties in a lot of ways. Our paramedic group is seen as the best around, and that doesn't necessarily mean the people. It means the management, it means the vehicles, it means as a place to work.”
Manley said he based this on discussions with paramedics from other municipalities, who expressed dissatisfaction with different aspects of their jobs.
“I want to let the county know our paramedics' program is looked at as probably number-one in all of Ontario,” he said.
“You can give yourself a pat on the back, because you are doing something right.”
Manley's compliments also extended to other departments, like roads.
Before he retired, he moved to the Peterborough area for family reasons and commuted to Northumberland, he explained.
“I would drive out of Peterborough County in the wintertime and, as soon as I got to Northumberland, your roads are plowed. And that's at 7:30 in the morning, so that's appreciated.
“Recycling – you're far ahead of other counties,” he added.
“Just keep looking toward the future. Councillors, management and the workers who are all doing a great job – it's showing up in a lot of different ways.”