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Cottonwood recognizes 2 top employees
Written by Greg Ruland   
Wednesday, 19 January 2011 00:00

Two city staff members who worked beyond the call of duty were recognized by the Cottonwood City Council as Employees of the Quarter.

Council recognized firefighter Patrick McInnis and administrative coordinator Leslie Wager with bonus checks because each of them took on duties outside the normal scope of their employment that improved working conditions for co-workers.

Cottonwood Fire Department firefighter Patrick McInnis was honored as one of two of the city's employees of the quarter at a city council meeting Tuesday, Jan. 4, for his work setting up an ongoing scholarship program to help CFD personnel pay for continuing education to become paramedics.McInnis was recognized for the many hours he spent creating and maintaining a paramedic scholarship program for the Cottonwood Fire Department.

Wager was recognized for taking on administrative duties for 30 city employees even though she was originally hired to administer for only five.

Cottonwood Fire Chief Mike Casson introduced McInnis to council at its regular meeting Jan. 4 by describing the “countless hours” he spent soliciting donations for the scholarship program and organizing a panel of judges to decide which firefighters win financial support to become trained as paramedics.

McInnis developed the program after funding for paramedic training was cut from the city’s 2010-11 budget.

“Patrick [McInnis] saw the need for a scholarship paramedic program and got right to work on developing his project,” Fire Marshal Rick Contreras wrote in his nomination recommending McInnis for Employee of the Quarter. “Patrick has gone to great lengths to seek donations from the community and he is also developing fundraisers and applying for grants to supply additional funding to the program.”

Leslie Wager, a permit technician and administrative assistant in the city's public works department received recognition at the Tuesday, Jan. 4, city council meeting as one of two employees of the quarter for taking on extra responsibilities at work.The city benefits from the scholarship program because it enables firefighters to receive, at no cost to the city, training that increases their ability to perform in life or death situations. Four firefighters are currently receiving scholarships to aid in their education, Casson said.

“I just saw the need arise,” McInnis told council. “The training costs around $4,000. The program supplements the great cost of this education. I am happy to help.”

Wager was hired as the administrative coordinator for the Community Development Department but, following the consolidation of several city departments into a single building, soon added the responsibility of permit technician to her resume.

She went from operating the front desk for a single department of about five people to a building that houses more than 30, Community Development Director George Gehlert told council.

“Leslie has gone above and beyond what she is required to do as part of her job and has been an excellent example for other employees to follow when faced with additional tasks,” Gehlert said. “She has handled it well and with an upbeat attitude.”
Wager’s willingness to take on added responsibilities saved the city the cost of an additional employee, Gehlert said.

“Thank you so much for all the things you’re doing for community members,” Mayor Diane Joens told Wager.


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