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Well done!

Each issue, eScoop would like to give a shout-out to employees and departments who have earned special recognition. We want to hear about colleagues who have earned kudos on the job as well as those being recognized for their work or volunteerism outside the office.

Send your ideas on employees who should receive a pat on the back to the eScoop editor. In this issue, you’ll hear about a thank you to the outgoing chair of the Employees Care About Pima County campaign, those going above and beyond at Pima Animal Care to take care of pets and pet owners in need, and a very public thank you to a Development Services employee who says he’s “just doing his job.”

Jersey Ray

County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry is applauding the efforts of the ECAP committee and in particular, Facilities’ Ray Velez, for chairing the campaign for the last three years. (Read the ECAP campaign story.)

“In an unprecedented year, Ray and the ECAP team managed to raise $282,000 to help those struggling the most in our community,” Huckelberry said.
Chuck Huckelberry and Ray Velez
To thank Velez, an avid cyclist, County Administration gave him a Loop jersey and face mask so he can ride safely. Huckelberry said he appreciated the committee’s work in the face of COVID challenges.

“Despite the obstacles, Ray’s strong, steady leadership kept the campaign on track,” Huckelberry said. “Whether it was leading committee meetings, processing checks and cash from folks not able to give online, or dropping off donations to United Way headquarters, Ray always proved willing to do whatever it took to make our campaigns a success. I’m truly grateful for his willingness to go the extra mile to help those in need.”

Bear has left the building

Staff and volunteers at Pima Animal Care Center were determined to find a home for Bear, a mixed-breed pup who has been at the shelter since September. This gave him the unfortunate distinction of being PACC’s longest-stay resident, which baffled those who love this very good boy.

Special thanks to his volunteer advocates Kim Waddell (at right, with Bear) and Barb Magee and the TOP Dogs team who all taught him so much about manners, basic obedience, clicker training, and more. 
Bear and Kim Waddell

Keeping pups warm

The recent cold spell prompted a call from William, a man in Arivaca with several Chinese Crested pups. These mostly hairless pups really felt the effects of the cold snap, which is why William asked the Pet Support Team if he could get some blankets and jackets for them.

PACC asked if anyone could make the drive to Arivaca, and Friends of PACC Board Chair, Laura Overland O'Brien, said she could do it. They loaded up the car with donated blankets, a jacket for him, coats for his dogs, and some treats.

Learn more about PACC’s pet assistance programs and how you can support them via Friends of PACC. 

He’s a Facebook Rock Star

Gerry Koziol’s job at Development Services involves reviewing and issuing sewer connection authorizations, assisting plan reviewers with complex sewer projects and fielding calls from the public regarding sewer record requests or connection questions, among other duties. He considers it nothing special or out of the ordinary, but for Michael Esser, a Pima County constituent who Gerry helped over the phone recently, his commitment to get back to constituents the same day was worth high praise in the most public way possible – by posting about his interaction with this “working-class hero” on his Facebook page.

Here’s what Michael wrote:

You want a story that will brighten up your day? Listen up:

I just got a call back from a Pima County employee named Gerry, at 6 p.m. Yes, 6 p.m.!

There are everyday heroes everywhere. Nurses? Heroes every single day they pull on their scrubs and show up for 12+ hours. It’s in the job description and deserves 100% of our admiration.

But Gerry? How many people can say they have gotten a call back from a government employee after 5 p.m., ever? Jerry didn’t give me the news I hoped to hear, but he brightened my day anyhow just by calling me back. Working-class hero. 
Gerry Koziol
It gets better. When I asked if he worked hourly or some kind of overtime shift or something, he said no, he was salaried and started like usual at 8 a.m. to start on all the calls that came in after he stopped working the night prior. He finished those calls in the afternoon, so that’s when he took a quick break for lunch. He got seven more calls on his 25-minute lunch break, and I was the last of those seven. He was about to quit for the night, but said he thought to himself, “It just doesn’t seem right to make people wait when it’s only one more call, you know? I work from home – it’s fine.”

Gerry quickly assured me that he’s nothing special – everyone he works with in the Wastewater Department works just as hard. He said sometimes the field guys working over the weekend give him a hard time for sending 15 more work orders to them during the weekend as well, so they can’t ever seem to catch up. The takeaway – Gerry also puts in hours on Saturday and Sunday because that’s sometimes also when customers send emails. 

Gerry told me he’s been working there for 35 years. 

I love people like Gerry. They know that no job is ever done…until quite simply it’s DONE  Then you can relax for the day knowing you are a Rock Star. Or perhaps just another diligent public servant, working on the taypayer’s dime? 

In today’s world, that translates from Ancient English as: “Rock Star.”

P.S. When I thanked Gerry and asked him if I could get his supervisor’s email to compliment him for his much-appreciated work ethic, there was a long pause. 

Are you ready for this?

He eventually responded with, “please don’t embarrass me.”

Hard not to, Gerry. Hard not to.

But it doesn’t end there. After coming across this post, an email thread went out to several Wastewater and Development Services staff members asking for help identifying the 35-year employee. The response from both departments was overwhelming positive and the eagerness everyone showed to make sure Gerry got the recognition he deserved was heart-warming. Here’s what his colleagues said:

"Gerry is an amazing individual," Development Services Chief Building Official Daniel Ice said. "I've enjoyed working with him. He's truly a dedicated individual."

"If the Facebook post had not named Gerry, by the description, it’s easy to know he was referring to Gerry Koziol," Wastewater Department Engineer Section Manager Francisco Galindo said.

"That's our Gerry. He works his tail off!" RWRD Civil Engineering Manager Lorenzo Hernandez said. "He hasn't changed. Proud as ever to be his co-worker." 
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