For two hours on the morning of Feb. 22, the city of Newberg shut down operations to gather its employees and recognize staff members who have gone above and beyond in their work in 2016 as well as in the years they've devoted to the city.
The most prestigious George Layman Award, also known as employee of the year, went to Ron Layne, fats, oils and grease inspector with the city's operations division who has worked for the city since 1998.
In prepared remarks, Public Works Director Jay Harris describes Layne as dedicated, dependable, collaborative, ready to work at unusual times and driven to help businesses rather than punish them.
"His outstanding dedication, professionalism and protection of the city infrastructure exemplifies the characteristics of George Layman," Harris said. Layman was a popular Newberg mayor and city attorney.
For this year's Visionary Award, the city recognized Community Development Director Doug Rux, who after a few years "has shifted and strengthen the ties between the city and its business community," according to staff remarks, particularly in his work on the city's riverfront master plan, tourism and economic strategic plans and the city's overall comprehensive plan.
The city also gave its "Rookie of the Year" Award to Leo French-Pinzon, facilities maintenance supervisor, for the initiative, dedication and professionalism he has demonstrated in his first year with the city, according to Harris' remarks. French-Pinzon also received the public works maintenance division's "Norton Award" – named after a character from mid-century show "The Honeymooners."
Newberg Public Library staff handed their "Webster Award" to Ruth Headley, a library assistant with Newberg since 2014, who co-workers described as a "library warrior," "an extra hand every time we need her," and "willing and able to tackle any situation."
In addition, the city recognized staff members Russ Thomas, Dan Wilson and Bill Jones for each giving more than 30 years of service to the city and congratulated Rea Andrew on her retirement after 27 years with the library.