Monday, March 26, 2012

Taylorsville Awards Banquet

Last Friday the city held its annual Awards Banquet. Invited guests included employees, contractors, citizen committee members, Planning Commissioners, former city elected officials, Taylorsville legislators, Taylorsville Youth Ambassadors, and current elected officials. We had about 160 people in attendance.

And the winners are:

Lee Yates
Outstanding Community Service as a Volunteer
Roger Barker
Outstanding Community Service as a Volunteer
Taylorsville Walmart
Outstanding Business Contribution
Senate President Michael Waddoups
Meritorious Service to the Community 
as a Legislator 
Michael Gull and Marlene Bolt
Meritorious Action by a Citizen
U.S. Marshals Service Joint Criminal Apprehension Team
Outstanding Service Provider
Grayson Van Leeuwen and Shannon Bennett
Meritorious Service in the Line of Duty

Sherri Winder
Legacy Award
Brian Gale
Outstanding Service to the City
Jean Gallegos and Penny Knight
Special Recognition for Exemplary Work

Mark McGrath
Supervisor of the Year
Troy Martinez
Police Officer of the Year
Lisa Schwartz
Employee of the Year

(Photos courtesy of Tavia McGrath)

Below are the introductions for each award recipient:

“Outstanding Community Service as a Volunteer” - Lee Yates. 
Lee has been the chair of the Economic Development Committee for the past year. As the chair, he has worked tirelessly to involve the economic development committee in the city's economic development efforts. Lee’s overarching goal is to have the committee doing things that will make a difference in Taylorsville. He has asked many questions in his efforts to understand how committee members can effectively add to the ongoing efforts of staff to strengthen, revitalize, enhance, and improve Taylorsville. Lee has participated as part of the city's Economic Development Task Force, attending bi-weekly meetings at city hall to give input and help drive economic development initiatives. According to Jean Ashby and Aimee Newton, "You can always count on Lee to look for ways to improve the city. He doesn't just sit back and let things happen, he gets out ahead of the game to try to make things better." This past December, under Lee's direction, the economic development holiday open house had the most attendees in its three-year history.
“Outstanding Community Service as a Volunteer” - Roger Barker
Roger is a member of the Historic Preservation Committee. He is an active participant at the Taylorsville-Bennion Heritage Center. Committee member, Joan White said, “Roger is a great asset. He loves to give tours. With his acting background, he makes an excellent story teller and helps the tours come alive. He makes our guests feel like they are back in the early days of Taylorsville. He is also great with the school kids on the school tours.” Roger has also helped complete the veterans wall in the garage of the museum where pictures are posted of veterans from Taylorsville. Roger has been a willing worker and has volunteered many hours to the museum.
“Outstanding Business Contribution” - Taylorsville Walmart
Walmart has been part of the Taylorsville landscape for many years. When Walmart was “Super-Sized” in 2005, they brought 300 new jobs to Taylorsville, for a total of almost 500 jobs. The Taylorsville store has regularly participated in our community activities, contributing to many Taylorsville organizations and events. They helped our Taylorsville Police Department by donating funds that have paid for our K-9 officers and tasers. They have also participated in “Shop with a Cop,” and have given bicycles and helmets for our bike rodeos. Walmart has helped the Unified Fire Authority, Taylorsville High School, Eisenhower Jr. High, Plymouth Elementary, Granite Education Foundation, and the United Way. They have generously donated items for Sub for Santas, first aid kits, and have helped with the Taylorsville Exchange Club and our Taylorsville Dayzz events.
We are pleased to present the Taylorsville Walmart with our “Outstanding Business Contribution” award.  Here to accept the award is Taylorsville store manager, Nathaniel Smith. 
“Meritorious Service to the Community as a Legislator” - Senate President Michael Waddoups
Senate President Michael Waddoups currently serves as President of the Utah State Senate. He has served in the Utah Senate for the past 16 years, representing a significant portion of Taylorsville, and has served as Chairman of the Rules committee and also as Senate Majority Leader. Prior to that, he served in the Utah House of Representatives for 10 years fulfilling leadership positions as Rules Chairman and Majority Whip. During his time in the legislature he has served as President of the Multi-State Transportation Commission, Chair of the Health Care Task Force, and served on the Judicial Conduct Commission. We appreciate the support President Waddoups has given Taylorsville. He has helped bring in tens of millions of dollars for transportation. Because of his recent efforts, Taylorsville received $4 million to begin a Bus Rapid Transit project. President Waddoups has been instrumental in helping Taylorsville secure funds for our Veterans Memorial project. He help get the baseball diamonds fixed on 2200 West and has helped pass bills to protect the rights of manufactured home owners. He has been a champion for Taylorsville issues and we wish him well in his retirement from the Legislature. We are also appreciative of his wife, Anna Kay, for her community service. We are pleased to award Senate President Michael Waddoups tonight. 
“Meritorious Action by a Citizen” - Michael Gull and Marlene Bolt
On May 26, 2010 Michael Gull and Marlene Bolt were going for a bike ride along the Jordan River through Taylorsville. During their ride they observed some people horsing around. A few minutes later they saw some of the same people sprinting from the area away from where they had been. Moments later Michael and Marlene found an 18 year old girl who had been stabbed in the abdomen and a 22 year old man who had been slashed across the eye. Without giving consideration to themselves, Marlene began to attend and try to comfort the girl who would later die from her injury. Michael told Marlene to remain with the victims and he took off in the direction of the suspects. Michael did not locate the suspects, but he did locate three witnesses whom police would later interview. With total disregard for their own safety, Michael and Marlene helped two people whom they didn’t know but had been seriously harmed.  Michael also took on greater risk by trying to follow the suspects to get more information. Michael and Marlene cooperated with police until late night hours the night. They also cooperated with the District Attorney’s Office on several occasions prior to the prosecution of the first defendant. They testified in court against the suspect.
According to Detective Mike Ikemiyashiro, “On the second day of trial I noticed Michael and Marlene back in court. Knowing that they had already testified and completed their portion of this trial I let the prosecutor know they were there again. I listened as the prosecutor approached Michael and told him that they had completed their testimony and didn’t need to be there. I was pleasantly surprised to hear Michael say they were just there to support the victim’s family. This continued through the entire week of trial, as they stayed to support the family. That week Michael and Marlene changed the way I look at society.”
“Outstanding Service Provider” - US Marshals Service Joint Criminal Apprehension Team
The United States Marshals Service, Joint Criminal Apprehension Team, has been an integral part of the law enforcement efforts in Taylorsville City.  According to Lieutenant Tracy Wyant, their partnership in conjunction with their national and international span of control has been responsible for the arrest of numerous fugitives wanted on various felony crimes in and around Taylorsville. Their efforts have directly benefitted the citizens of Taylorsville City.  We applaud them for their continued support and professional approach to dangerous situations. Here to accept this award is Marshal James Thompson and Supervisory Deputy Marshal Jim Phelps. 
“Meritorious Service in the Line of Duty” - Officer Grayson Van Leeuwen and Officer Shannon Bennett
On 11/05/11, Officer Shannon Bennett and Officer Grayson Van Leeuwen responded to the Summerwood Apartments in regard to a shooting. Initially, limited information was provided, but it was reported that the victim had been shot. After arriving in the area, Officers Bennett and Van Leeuwen observed the offender fleeing on foot through the apartment complex. The offender then scaled a fence on the south side of the complex. The officers responded and located the offender behind a restaurant. These officers confronted the offender, but he failed to comply with their verbal commands to stop and again attempted to flee on foot. Officer Bennett briefly pursued the offender before deploying his taser, while Officer Van Leeuwen covered the offender with his pistol. Officers then attempted to place the offender in custody, however, the taser had limited effect and the offender resisted arrest, struggling with the officers. Despite the offender’s attempts to defeat the arrest, the officers were successful in taking the offender into custody. 
Investigation subsequently revealed that the offender shot and killed the victim. The offender was in possession of a shell casing, the victim’s wallet, and three bags of methamphetamine. A witness notified the officers that the offender had discarded property while fleeing from them. A crime scene was established and two handguns were subsequently recovered from the area through which the offender fled. The offender was turned over to detectives for further investigation and he was later booked into SLCO Jail. The offender was ultimately charged with multiple felonies.
According to Sergeant John Cooper, “This arrest exemplified these officers’ commitment to public service and to combating crime in the community. Due to Officer Bennett and Van Leeuwen’s alertness, dedication to duty, and teamwork, a violent felony offender, who was responsible for a homicide, was arrested fleeing the scene of the crime and removed from the streets of the City of Taylorsville.”
 “Legacy Award” - Sherri Winder (posthumous)
Despite previous failed incorporation attempts, in 1994 residents in the communities of Taylorsville and Bennion began the process of becoming a city. From the beginning, Sherri Winder was involved, later emerging as the co-chair of the incorporation committee. With superb organization, she created districts throughout the potential city, appointed district captains to spread the word, and marshaled volunteers to get the necessary petitions signed to place the question on the ballot. With myths and misunderstandings swirling about what would happen if the area were to provide their own services, Sherri rallied the team to educate voters on what a city would really mean by making flyers, meeting hundreds in their homes, and stepping well outside her comfort zone to talk to the media. Her hard work helped the incorporation of Taylorsville-Bennion pass by an overwhelming 70 percent of the vote, enabling a city of 60,000 residents to control their own destiny. Residents of Taylorsville will forever be grateful to Sherri Winder, who midwifed Utah’s Centennial City. Bruce Wasden, then chair of the Taylorsville-Bennion Community Council said, “The ability Sherri possessed to bring people together and work towards a common goal made her efforts invaluable and outcomes which were always positive.” Last September 11th, Sherri Winder was killed in an automobile accident. We realized that we had never formally recognized her efforts as the co-chair of the effort to make Taylorsville a city. Tonight we award “The Legacy Award” posthumously to Sherri Winder. Here to accept the award on her behalf are her children: Aimee Newton, Mike Winder, Tami Larsen and Isaac Winder. 
“Outstanding Service to the City” - Brian Gale
For the past 23 years, Captain Gale has served in the City of Taylorsville. Hired in November of 1985, Brian quickly put his paramedic skills to use by working out of Station 117 on Redwood Road.  Once promoted to captain, he continued to base his employ within the City at both Station 117, and then Station 118 next to City Hall.
As the job would require, Brian has responded to countless emergency calls on a variety of units over the years: rescue squads, engines, and as of late, a ladder truck.  More importantly though, he has also worked to establish a rapport with City officials, businesses, and the schools located within the community.
For several years, Captain Gale also served as a member of the Taylorsville Dayzz Committee, representing UFA and taking on assignments which enhanced public safety during our annual celebration.
At this time, it is our privilege to honor Captain Brian Gale for his dedication and outstanding service to the citizens of the City of Taylorsville.
“Special Recognition for Exemplary Work” - Jean Gallegos and Penny Knight
Recently the building division had an employee who was diagnosed with a serious illness. Both Jean and Penny have worked closely with this employee and they began providing support and coverage for frequent doctor’s appointments, procedures and sick days. As the illness progressed, Jean and Penny were asked to assume the additional job functions of processing permits and scheduling inspections for the Building Division. The additional work that they performed helped us provide the necessary coverage for the building division at the counter and to the contracting public while allowing us to avoid the hiring of replacement or temporary staff.

Today, you will find that the work of the inspection coordinator/permit technician has been divided between the two. Permitting and counter work have been assigned to Penny while Jean has assumed  inspection coordinator responsibilities.  According to managers in the department - Mark McGrath, Patrick Tomasino, and Michael Meldrum, Jean and Penny have done an excellent job with limited training at no additional cost to the City.  They have been willing to pitch in for the good of the department. According to co-worker Kathy LeMay, Jean and Penny have, at times, given up their ability to take time off so they can be available to help and she has not heard either one complain. 
“Supervisor of the Year” - Mark McGrath
Mark is the Community Development Director for the city. He has worked here for 11 years. He takes a personal interest in his staff and all of them feel comfortable enough to be able to go into his office and talk with him about both personal and work-related issues. He never makes them feel pressured to hurry up because he has somewhere else to be.
According to Michael Meldrum, “Mark is very thorough. His management style is to let you work through as much as you can and then he’ll supplement as needed. He’s a great manager because he lets you do your job, but still expects results.”
Patrick Tomasino said, “Mark is detail-oriented, professional, and organized. He’s a great guy and I’ve enjoyed working for him.”
Mark’s staff has had to share him and his wide range of skills with other departments in the City. For instance, Mark is part of the Mayor’s economic development team. He has also been tasked with shepherding a re-write of the city’s Land Use Development Code over the past two years. This has taken hundreds of hours and is almost complete. Mark has done an incredible job taking this through the process with the Planning Commission and City Council. Mark also does a great job with the city’s Strategic Plan and has been a positive force in that process. Regardless of the additional assignments, his staff tells me that he has never made them feel that they were secondary among his priorities.    
“Police Officer of the Year” - Troy Martinez
Troy has worked for the Taylorsville Police Department since it’s inception in 2005. Since that time Troy has worked patrol, back up P.I.O., property crimes and person crimes. He is also a training instructor. Troy’s current assignment is investigating child sex crimes, crimes against children and child abuse cases. These types of cases are extremely difficult and require many interviews, not only with children, but also family members, parents and perpetrators. 
In 2011, Troy was assigned 181 cases and cleared 178 of them to date. He wrote 863 reports during his investigation of these cases. His most notable cases involved felony arrests with extensive prison sentences. 
According to Lieutenant Rosie Rivera, Troy is very patient and caring while investigating some of the most horrific types of crimes against children. Employees at the Children’s Justice Center and Department of Children and Family Services comment often on Troy’s demeanor and willingness to work each case to a successful conviction as well as his dedication and his ability to investigate these types of cases. Troy has a great personality and he is always positive and upbeat while at work. He has great morale and a positive outlook while maintaining a very large case load. He is always willing to step up and assist any patrol officers who have questions regarding these difficult cases. 
Troy’s dedication to the citizens of Taylorsville and the police depart is apparent by his job performance and his professionalism while handling these difficult cases.  We commend Troy Martinez for the excellent job he does for the Police Department and the City of Taylorsville. 
“Employee of the Year” - Lisa Schwartz
The City of Taylorsville is fortunate to have Lisa employed as our Emergency Response Coordinator. She has worked for the city for 3 1/2 years, and prior to her employment here, she served three years as a volunteer doing emergency preparedness. Lisa takes her job very seriously and wants to ensure that Taylorsville is prepared in the event of a disaster. She has earned a great reputation both in Taylorsville and throughout the state. Lisa teaches employees, citizens and community groups about disaster preparedness. She coordinates all activities before, during, and after an emergency to ensure effective operation of the emergency management plan. She has secured many grants to help the city. She has done great planning for the state’s largest earthquake drill, The Great Shakeout, which will happen in April. One of her co-workers, Pat Kimbrough, said, “Lisa is a dedicated employee. She is busy from the time she arrives to work to the time she leaves, and never wastes a minute. Lisa is a wonderful, kind person and is loved by all her colleagues.” 

Deseret News article on the Awards Banquet: Sherri Winder honored at Taylorsville's banquet.

1 comment:

  1. It's good to see people who are very willing to help other people in times of emergency, crimes and other crises. I also admire Taylorsville on its advocacy to help young children who got abused. family lawyers in Perth


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