Pawhuska honors employees at luncheon

Robert Smith
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

Pawhuska city officials last Friday, Dec. 9, honored city employees during a holiday luncheon held at the Community Center.

Ward 1 City Councilor Roger Taylor, who is also mayor, described municipal employees as “the backbone of our town.” Interim City Manager Laura Teague said the employees are “the ones that make the city go round.”

“I have a little bit of government experience and I want you to know how valuable I think government employees are,” Teague said. Before becoming interim city manager for Pawhuska, she had served nearly a decade as a county commissioner in Morgan County, Colorado.

Taylor at one point asked the Pawhuska employees at the luncheon to stand and look around and give one another a round of applause.

“I appreciate everything you do,” Taylor said.

Teague said she has learned a lot about Pawhuska from the women who work around her at City Hall. Teague presented recognition items to employees with five years, 10 years and greater lengths of service to the city. She gave special awards to two employees with 40 or more years on the job for the city.

Chance Dingman, who has worked in several capacities and currently leads the employees who care for the city cemetery, now has 45 years on the job. Taylor, who noted he and Dingman are similarly advanced in age, said that Dingman is “appreciated beyond recognition” and added that the city needs more folks like him.

“Chance has had an impact on me in the short time I’ve been here,” Teague said.

Yvonne Rose, who is director of the Pawhuska Library, now has 40 years in with the city.

“Forty years is a long time. Yvonne Rose continues to put passion into the Library,” Teague said, adding that Rose regularly approaches her to share new ideas for improving the city’s library services.

Rose has also been noted for the clarity and detail of reports that she has made to the City Council regarding the operations of the Library.

Another special award presented Friday went to Emergency Medical Services worker Shane Hunt, who has been with the city for 10 years. Captain Mike Bayro, of the Pawhuska Fire Department, described Hunt as an especially reliable person who volunteers to work shifts that others are unable to work.

“He is one of those people that you can always count on,” Bayro said of Hunt, adding that Hunt never complains about stepping up to fill in for someone else.