I have been fortunate throughout my career to work with people who make good things happen. We have many of these people working for the City of Albany, and I think it’s appropriate to recognize a few of them who have made some recent contributions.
Diana Eilers and all those who made the employee picnic possible deserve our thanks for volunteering their time to bring us together for a nice family activity. People seemed to really enjoy the event, and I particularly appreciated the chance to see employees and their families who I would otherwise have few opportunities to meet. Joy Gilliland did a great job as announcer and game show host, while all the directors proved to be decent chefs.
Troy Mickelsen is recruiting City workers to enroll in the annual Bicycle Commute Challenge as he has for at least the last three years. Like those who organized the picnic, Troy isn’t receiving any extra compensation for his efforts beyond the satisfaction of doing something positive.
We have far too many “builders” who work at the City to name them individually. I receive hundreds of praise coupons a year expressing thanks to employees in every department for acts of service, both to the public and colleagues. I have also accumulated a bank of true stories I’ve picked up over the past six years about City workers doing extraordinary things to help others. I tell these stories at the orientation sessions we hold for new employees as a way to illustrate the City’s mission statement. In the unlikely event someone has forgotten our mission statement, it reads: “Providing quality public services for a better Albany community.”
I think most employees work to achieve this mission every day without even thinking about it. I have seen many examples ranging from helping a citizen who looks a little lost at City Hall by directing them to the right office to building a new bed for a child who lost his in a fire. These daily acts of service explain why I believe the City receives strong support from our community. We will always have critics, and I appreciate the fact that people care enough to point out our failings. The occasional criticism should not, however, obscure the general goodwill we enjoy.
I want to express my thanks to all who work or volunteer for the City of Albany and help to make it the great organization I believe it to be. The small acts of courtesy, kindness, and service performed every day help us earn the trust we need to overcome the untruths, distortions, and periodic attacks that inevitably accompany the work we do.