Six individuals and the Probation Department’s Adult Alternative Sentencing Team received awards at Placer County’s Employee Recognition Barbecue Thursday, June 11.
Hundreds of county employees were on hand to honor outstanding co-workers during the 13th annual Placer County Employee Recognition Awards Program. The barbecue luncheon also was a chance to salute all county employees for their efforts throughout the year.
The barbecue, which featured hamburgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers, was held on the lawn at the Placer County Government Center in North Auburn, a complex commonly known as the DeWitt Center.
Chairman F.C. “Rocky” Rockholm spoke on behalf of the Board of Supervisors, thanking employees for working with the board and county management team to resolve budget challenges caused largely by the nation’s economic downtown and state budget crisis.
Three groups of employees- management, confidential and those represented by the Placer Public Employees Organization- have agreed to accept 12 unpaid days off and other concessions in return for a no-layoffs pledge for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
“We just want to thank you,” Supervisor Rockholm told the crowd. “Enjoy today.”
Supervisors Jim Holmes and Kirk Uhler also attended the luncheon.
County Executive Officer Thomas M. Miller, the master of ceremonies, echoed Supervisor Rockholm’s comments, saying he appreciates the spirit of cooperation employees have displayed in the face of the budget challenges.
At the end of the program, he added, “I just want to conclude by thanking all of you for the work you do on a daily basis.”
Awards go to outstanding employees in four main categories: outstanding leadership, public service excellence, workforce excellence, and exceptional teamwork.
Employees receive special sustained-achievement awards when their outstanding work covers at least five years. Award winners are nominated by co-workers.
Miller reported that more than 250 employees were nominated for awards this year.
An ERAP luncheon was held Tuesday, June 16 for county employees who work in the Lake Tahoe area.
INDIVIDUAL AWARD WINNERS
- Troy Held, director of Child Support Services, received the Outstanding Leadership Award.
He was nominated for the honor by several employees who work for him. “Troy excels in his ability to consistently ensure that our department provides excellent customer service for our clients,” they wrote.
“He inspires staff by providing the guidance and resources for us to reach our fullest potential. The morale of staff within our department is one of great hope for the future and the feeling that the ability to achieve great things is possible with hard work.”
- Anita Walker, recording services supervisor in the Clerk-Recorder’s Office, walked away with the Sustained Outstanding Leading Award.
County Clerk-Recorder Jim McCauley told the gathering that Walker is an excellent worker, saying “She inspires other workers around her.”
A co-worker nominated Walker, writing, “Anita has raised the bar on customer service and workplace performance. She is highly respected by her staff and gets conformance to policy and procedures because they know what to expect from Anita and she makes it clear she expects the same level of work ethics from them.”
- John Weber, a right-of-way agent in the Public Works Department, earned the Public Service Excellence Award.
“John has remarkable people skills,” Assistant Public Works Director Bob Blaser said, reading from one of several letters submitted by co-workers who nominated Weber for the award.
“John Weber is a true star in the public service arena,” Blaser added, reading another co-worker’s comments. “The county would be vastly better off if more employees took a page from the John Weber playbook on caring, action and public service.”
- Deputy Sheriff Shawn Rosner, a canine handler in the Sheriff’s Office, was awarded the Sustained Public Service Excellence Award. Sheriff’s Lt. John Savage nominated Rosner.
“He has become the spokesman for the canine unit and always represents the Sheriff’s Office and the County of Placer in the best possible light,” Savage said. “Deputy Rosner continues to maintain his upbeat attitude and completes a great amount of work while doing his extra voluntary positions and assignments.”
Rosner works a regular patrol beat and uses his crossed-trained dog for both patrol and narcotic-detection duties.
- William Walton, a sergeant in the Sheriff’s Office, was honored with the Workforce Excellence Award.
Sheriff Ed Bonner told the crowd that Walton does outstanding work as the office’s administrative sergeant for field operations. “In fact, every job he has done, he has done a great job,” Sheriff Bonner said.
Lt. Savage nominated Walton for his award, saying, “Sergeant Walton’s enthusiasm is contagious to those around him. He offers suggestions and tries to fix problems as they occur. He has been a role model for other sergeants in this area.”
- Tim Carnes, a senior building crafts mechanic in the Facility Services Department, was recognized with a Sustained Workforce Excellence Award.
“Tim’s motto is, if it’s broken, let’s fix it and make it better than before,” Facility Services Director Jim Durfee told the crowd, reading from comments made by a co-worker who nominated Carnes for the honor.
“His workmanship, promptness and can-do attitude have earned him the respect and admiration of co-workers and customers throughout Placer County,” wrote the employee who nominated Carnes.
TEAM AWARD WINNER
Probation’s Adult Alternative Sentencing Team received the Exceptional Teamwork Award for the outstanding job it did expanding the department’s alternative sentencing programs.
Under the leadership of Chief Probation Officer Stephen Pecor and in collaboration with the Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Office and County Executive Office, the Adult Alternative Sentencing Team utilized technological advances and recent changes in the law to safely and effectively expand the use of existing alternatives to incarceration. These changes allow carefully screened, low-level adult defenders to fulfill their sentencing obligations through programs such as Work Release, Electronic Monitoring and Drug Court, rather than being housed in the county’s local jail facilities.
The two employees who nominated the team noted the alternative-sentencing programs provide safe, cost-effective alternatives to incarceration that hold offenders accountable for their actions while allowing them to continue meeting family, job, education and treatment obligations and to make payments toward court-ordered restitution. Program participants also provide free labor at locations such as parks, cemeteries and community centers.
“Probation’s successful implementation of the revised Alternative Sentencing Program in September of 2008 had a profoundly positive impact for Placer County,” wrote the two employees who nominated the team.
Noting that the programs have helped reduce the jail population by 10 to 15 percent, they added, “This new strategy also resulted in the reconfiguring of the plans for a new jail at the Santucci Justice Center in South Placer and avoided approximately $110 million in construction costs and another $110 million in staffing costs over five years.”
Probation’s award-winning team includes Pecor, Assistant Chief Probation Officer Michael Cholerton, Probation Manager Marshall Hopper and Senior Deputy Probation Officers Mollie Ronco and Joseph Netemeyer and Senior Administrative Services Officer Chris Artim.
Other team members are Deputy Probation Officers Stephanie Frazier, Summer Ferguson; Hermila Lopez-Tighe, Sancho Eskridge, Keri Scott, Diane Taber, Benjamin Zehner and Allyson Prero; Senior Administrative Clerk Randi Nicklow; and Administrative Clerks Christie Walker and Denise Christensen.