2018-11-08 / Community News

Biddeford recognized employees, volunteers

The city of Biddeford held its third annual Employee and Volunteer Banquet, recognizing a set of exceptional employees and volunteers who have gone above and beyond expectations.

This year, waste truck handler Terry Roberts was named Employee of the Year, and Planning Board Chairman Larry Patoine was named Volunteer of the Year.

Roberts is an employee from the public works department’s solid waste division who has worked for the city since 2011. As a waste truck handler, Roberts departs for curbside waste collection routes in the dark of the morning and is exposed to the elements in all seasons.

“Terry has no problem showing up to perform his duties on the back of the waste truck during the early hours of the day, no matter the temperature or weather conditions,” said Public Works Director Jeff Demers. “Any individual that has had the opportunity to perform this task knows the dedication that takes.”

In addition to his positive attitude toward his required duties, Roberts also stays later than his normal work hours each Friday to help keep the public works facility clean.

“Terry’s dedication, his commitment to help his department, and his willingness to be a team player led me to select him as this year’s Employee of the Year,” said City Manager James Bennett.

Mayor Alan Casavant presented the award of Volunteer of the Year to Patoine. Patoine has served on the planning board for the past 12 years, and as chairman for five years.

“While serving on this board, Larry has distinguished himself with his knowledge, his demeanor, his professionalism and his sense of giving back to community,” Casavant said. “In recent years, because of the heavy workload on the board due to Biddeford's rapid economic growth, Larry's leadership has been pivotal, as the board has become known state-wide as a fair, professional, creative body of volunteers.”

Additionally, since 2012, Larry has been a key contributor to the success of the annual Winterfest event.

“Working with his many friends, Larry has given of himself to construct the centerpiece of the festival, the sledding hill, in order to watch the laughter and the smiles of our city's children,” Casavant said. “He is the perfect example of an individual who loves his community and demonstrates that love by the giving of his time, his talents, and his energy, over and over again.”

Several other awards were presented to employees at the banquet, including the Management Team Member Award, the Technical and Service Team Member Award, and the Customer Service Team Member Award.

City Clerk Carmen Morris received this year’s Management Team Member Award. Morris started her career with the city of Biddeford 24 years ago as the office manager in the clerk’s office and was appointed to the position of city clerk in 2007.

Morris understands her responsibilities as a member of the management team and works to ensure that the clerk’s office delivers the highest level of service to the public while also working in concert with and supporting the management team and the city’s larger organizational goals, whenever and wherever possible. In addition to her exemplary work in the city clerk’s office preparing for elections, creating City Council agendas and packets, and more, Morris also took on the role of organizer of the Employee and Volunteer Banquet.

“Carmen exemplifies the qualities that this award is meant to recognize, and I was pleased to be able to surprise her with this honor that she clearly deserved at the event she tirelessly organized,” Bennett said.

Jim Emerson was awarded the Technical and Service Team Member Award. Emerson has been working in professional standards with the Police Department’s special services division since 2011.

“Jim has a diverse set of technical responsibilities in his role with the police department, and his high-quality work in all aspects of his position led me to select him for this award,” Bennett said.

The Customer Service Team Member Award was presented to Kara Cote, administrative assistant for the public works and wastewater department. In her 12 years of service in her position, Cote has balanced managing payroll, taking and logging daily comments from residents, keeping the public works and wastewater web pages active, helping with requests for proposal, entering purchase orders, and taking on any other task that may help citizens or the public works team daily.

“Kara does a fantastic job keeping the public works office well-organized daily,” said Bennett. “Her dedication and response to residents is the reason I selected her to receive the Customer Service Team Member Award.”

44 employees who have each provided 20 or more years of service to the city were also recognized at the banquet.

“These 44 employees alone have contributed a combined total of 999 years of service to Biddeford. It is truly incredible to see individuals with such a high level of dedication to their community,” Bennett said.

Nearly 200 city of Biddeford employees and volunteers attended the event. In addition to the awards, attendees also enjoyed dinner and a slideshow of photos highlighting staff and volunteer accomplishments from the past year.

Return to top