To say somebody is the Best Civic Servant is to say a lot. Not only does it mean they provide a vital service to the community, it requires that they show a dedication and passion for their work and the residents who rely on them. We asked our reporters and city officials for guidance in making our 2014 Best of West Civic Servant picks. Here’s what they had to say:
Marie Clark, city clerk (retired 2014)
Reporter Jim Erickson said: “Marie’s knowledge of the city, the board and all of its actions truly was encyclopedic.”
Vickie Haas, city clerk
Erickson describes Haas as having an “always-friendly demeanor” that “provides the helpful and kind face that’s an asset for any governmental entity whose job is serving the public.”
Michele McMahon, city clerk
Mayor Scott Douglass said “Michele is conscientious and she cares about helping the citizen and satisfying their concerns, and I think in the job that she is in, that is the number one quality and ability that someone needs to have.”
Dennis Woods, commercial inspector
City Administrator Mark Perkins described Woods as “the model of consistency, accountability, reliability and professionalism … his integrity is strong and his commitment to his field of expertise has made Creve Coeur a safer place to be.”
Richard G. Lahr, mayor
Editor Kate Uptergrove marveled at Lahr’s dedication, saying: “He has served as a civic servant in the city of Des Peres for 22 years – as an alderman from 1992-2000 and as an eight-term mayor. That’s impressive.”
Police Sgt. Nancy Walker
Chief of Police Tom Felgate noted Walker’s recent 25th anniversary as a D.A.R.E. officer and said: “In addition to her duties as a D.A.R.E. officer, Sgt. Walker helps the me prepare the department’s annual budget, serves as juvenile officer and organizes the city’s annual Kids Safety Day.”
Ruth Baker, city clerk
“Ruth has tremendous dedication not only to the city of Manchester and its residents, but also to her profession, serving as a director of The Missouri City Clerks and Finance Officers Association,” Uptergrove explained.
Town & Country
Gary Hoelzer, city administrator
“Gary has served the city for a long time (28 years) and done so with a great deal of knowledge and an easy-going temperament,” explained reporter Mary Shapiro.
Kathy Runge, village clerk/controller
Village Trustee Ray Slama describes Runge as “professional and personal, a perfect ambassador for the Village of Twin Oaks.”
Barb Beckett, city clerk/city administrator
Shapiro described Beckett as “basically running the city on a daily basis and doing so with the goal of being calm in the face of any storm.”
Joe Vujnich, director of planning and parks
“No one has taken such an interest in the city and its direction, toward being a different kind of community than others along Manchester Road,” said Shapiro of Vujnich.