We should also take some time to look back and recognize those that have served us so well over the last year. We all make the mistake of forgetting this at times, as our lives seem to travel only in the fast lanes, and we sometimes forget those that have done so much for so many, while failing to receive the appropriate recognition or thanks from those they have served so graciously.
As I sit and write this column on Sunday evening I can’t help but to reflect on the wonderful efforts made by our city employees over the last year. They worked during this time to continue to provide residents and visitors alike with outstanding services under some very trying circumstances.
We probably don’t think too much about those things we take for granted each day. I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy a hot shower first thing in the morning as I start my day. Couple that with a good hot cup of coffee and I can’t help but be thankful for those men and women who work in our Utility Enterprise, insuring when I reach over and turn on that faucet that I’m not disappointed for the most part.
Ever take your children or grandkids over to Mackle Park for an event? You can’t help but be impressed with the quality of the young men and women who meet you there and attend to your every need. This last Saturday they made sure your children had a wonderful time meeting Santa and Mrs. Claus. Earlier in the week when they welcomed the public into the new Mackle Park Community Center with smiles and enthusiasm they did so with great enthusiasm and pride.
I can’t help but also think about the workers that keep those great parks, ballfields and courts in such wonderful condition for young and old alike to enjoy themselves.
Ever walk into the police station or to city hall and are impressed with the cleanliness of the facilities? You need to thank a facilities management person for taking such good care of your investment. They go about their duties quietly and without much notice for the most part.
The men and women who work within the Public Works Department are also out there on a day to day basis, making sure your daily commute is as uneventful as possible. Those same individuals insured you were able to get back to your homes after Irma had passed by us, leaving her mark on our island paradise. They did so under the most difficult of circumstances, but did it with pride and professionalism.
Walk into city hall and you’ll find some of the most accommodating and efficient personnel you’ll find anywhere. They will work with you to accommodate your needs or send you in the right direction to have your questions answered. Can I guarantee you’ll get the answer you want? Of course I can’t, but I do know that those employees will do their level best to try to assist you in a polite and professional manner.
We also need to think about the men and women who serve you as First Responders, professionals whom I hold in the highest regard. They are there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without fail. Their professions expose them to some of the best and worst of human nature, but their calm and reasoned approach to your crisis provides you and your family with the very best service found anywhere in this nation.
I would also be remiss not to point out the wonderful service we receive from the professionals at LCEC (Lee County Electric Cooperative). Although not city employees, they are there when the lights go out and work without delay to insure they come on in a prompt and efficient fashion, many times side by side with city employees.
These folks work hard for you every day and 2017 was an especially challenging time for them. They performed flawlessly while quietly going about the business of servicing the residents of our community. They did so with great professionalism and pride and I thought I’d share those thoughts with you as we close out the year.
I want to wish you all, and especially our city employees, a wonderful Christmas Holiday with best wishes for a great 2018.
Steve Stefanides, well-known by his nickname “Stef,” is an experienced award-winning reporter of local civic and public interest news. Stef’s More Straight Talk column (and its predecessor, Straight Talk), on a variety of subjects, is a favorite of readers who trust him to bring them the facts. A Marco Island resident, Stef contributes to the community in many ways, having served on a number of city committees, charitable groups, boards and local organizations. Contact him by email at Stef@coastalbreezenews.com