Garner public works employees hold 'rodeo'

Posted May 23, 2009 1:45 p.m. EDT
Updated May 23, 2009 3:44 p.m. EDT

— Garner public works employees competed in rodeo-like contests this week and honored their first employee of the year as part of National Public Works Week.

Workers competed during a weeklong "rodeo" of events challenging the skills they use on a daily basis. Events and winners included:

  • Backhoe and excavating: Kenny Wayne Hales
  • Dump truck driving and backing: Warren Griffis
  • Lawn mower maneuvering: Gerald Strickland
  • Weed-eater threading: Warren Griffis
  • Nail driving: Earman Adams
  • Blower ball: Calvin Williams

The department's first-ever employee of the year award was bestowed on Demetrius Hunter at a barbecue luncheon at Lake Benson Park Thursday. A Garner resident, Hunter is a street maintenance technician and back-up equipment operator who has been with the department since 1996.

He received seven of 10 written nominations from co-workers for the award.

"Although Demetrius works independently, he is the consummate team player. He's always on the move and always works hard to accomplish his duties, and his co-workers see that," said Paul Cox, director of the Public Works Department.

Hunter also got lunch with the town manager, a fishing pass to Lake Benson, a designated parking spot – and "Take the Night Off" pass for the town's Independence Day celebrations. It's usually the busiest event for public-works employees.

Hunter waved away co-workers who jokingly as if his pass was transferable or if he'd put it up for sale.

"I really do enjoy working with my co-workers and being around the residents during the night of the celebration, but I think I will definitely take the night off and enjoy it for myself," he said.