The city’s Employee Recognition Ceremony was a first for both David Mitchell and Rob Robinson, who are new in their roles of city manager and mayor, respectively.
City employees were lauded for their service during the ceremony Tuesday before the council’s regular meeting at Harker Heights City Hall.
Heading the list of awards was Joedi Rivera-Adorno, maintenance technician for the Public Works Department, who was named Employee of the Quarter. Rivera-Adorno has worked for the city since 2012.
“He always has the energy to strive on,” his nomination document stated. “As a wastewater employee, his job is especially important to the protection of the city ... and the wastewater plant.”
In the 27 months he has worked for the city, Rivera-Adorno has been Employee of the Month for the Public Works Department twice and has been nominated three times for Employee of the Quarter.
“I’m just shocked,” he said before the standing-room-only crowd gathered inside the Kitty Young Council Chambers.
“I will just continue to work hard.”
Employees of the Quarter are chosen by a panel of other employees.
The Stewart C. Meyer Harker Heights Library was awarded the 2013 Achievement of Library Excellence Award from the Texas Municipal Library Directors Association.
Of the 560 public library systems in the state, only 28 received the award. To qualify, the library had to demonstrate excellence in all 10 areas.
In the Administrative Department, Christina Contreras was recognized as the new administrative assistant and Mitchell as a returning face to the city.
Courts recognized its newest employees — Kristina Roach, deputy court clerk, and Ruth Campbell, part-time customer service clerk.
Police Chief Mike Gentry introduced Alisha Matthias as the department’s newest full-time call taker.
Gentry also recognized Officer Russell Dunagan for completing the two-week Northwestern Harley Davidson Police Operator course in December in Houston.
Cpl. Randy Stefek, Officer Clyde Hicks and Dunagan also attended the 2013 Gulf Coast Police Motorcycle Skills Challenge in Louisiana in October.
This is a national training and competition drawing more than 100 police motorcycle officers from across the country. After four days of training, all the officers competed against one another.
Stefak took fourth and Hicks took sixth place in the Division II Expert category. Dunagan placed fifth in the Division II Novice category.
The Code Enforcement Department introduced Eric Moree as its new code enforcement officer.
Fire Chief Jack Collier presented Justin Lewis with his five-year pin, Brandon Newman with his 10-year pin and Kenneth Sperry with his 25-year pin.
Jacob Cardona and Randy Ray were recognized for receiving their fire officer 1 certificate and advanced firefighter certificate, respectively.
Mark Hyde, public works director, announced that Jorge Martinez received his class 1 wastewater collections operator licence. Patrick Williams-King transferred to the Wastewater Department and Leslie Stevens is its newest maintenance technician. Cal Robbins received his five-year service, Bobby Moore, his 10-year service pin, and David Land and Burl Lewis received their 25-year service pins.
Jerry Bark, director of Parks and Recreation, presented John Levian, Regina Bryant and Luis Araujo with their five-year service pins.
Other new employees introduced at the ceremony were Sandra Nelson and Kristina Thompson, reference librarians, and Christina Smith, Finance Department customer service clerk. Kimberly Dugger, Finance Department account clerk, was awarded her 10-year service pin.