The Georgetown County Public Services Department thanked and honored its staff with a luncheon and awards presentation on Thursday. The event was in honor of National Public Works Week, which annually pays tribute to the men and women responsible for building and maintaining our infrastructure, protecting our nation’s water supply, managing solid waste systems, and so much more.
Public Works employees are instrumental and essential in responding to civic emergencies and operating and maintaining essential infrastructure. They are designated as first responders, but are rarely recognized as such by the public.
“Public Works employees are truly special,” said Georgetown County Administrator Angela Christian. “They are no stranger to hard work – to getting down and dirty, to repairing, renovating, hauling and inspecting. They do the heavy lifting for our county.”
The theme for this year’s National Public Works Week is “Stronger Together,” and it’s certainly fitting, said Ray Funnye, director of Georgetown County’s Public Services Department, which includes Public Works.
“It really recognizes who we are. In this unprecedented year we have had, we are really lucky to be here today,” Funnye told employees gathered at the luncheon. “When businesses and organizations all over the state were shutting down due to COVID-19, we didn’t miss a beat. Because we are stronger together. We were here every day.”
As part of the county’s annual Public Works Week tradition, it presented three awards to outstanding employees. They are as follows:
- James Coley, an engineering and capital projects planner, received the Green Earth Award. Throughout the pandemic and a ransomware attack that brought the county’s computer network down earlier this year, Coley was “forced to be creative” – and succeeded with flying colors. He was both intuitive and efficient, helping his department through the crises by continuing his projects and the search for funding opportunities despite a lack of technology. He had only his smart phone to work with, but still managed to do inspections on numerous construction projects, apply for and respond to grant opportunities, schedule and conduct onsite easement acquisitions and more, according to the award committee.
- Roban Mears was recognized with the Team Player Award. He takes great pride in learning and understanding new processes and duties which allowed him to successfully fill in for a colleague recently when there was a need. He took on the duties and responsibilities as needed while continuing to handle his own tasks. The Awards Committee said he is always willing to help team members and offers solutions to improve division efficiency. He displays excellent customer service and is willing to go the extra mile to help ensure residents he assists are satisfied.
- Lamar Gamble received the Leadership Award. He joined the county staff as a part-time employee in October and was promoted to full-time earlier this month. He is described as extremely motivated and is constantly encouraging other employees to work smarter. He implemented organization of the county’s e-waste process and increased efficiency so much it resulted in his recent promotion.