City says 'Thanks' for service

Residents, groups honored by Council

KINGMAN - Every once in a while, while the world around is spinning with commotion, taking the time to say "thanks" can mean a lot.

Family and friends, co-workers and on-lookers packed the City Council Chamber Oct. 1 and watched as Mayor Les Byram handed out award after award to employees at five- and 25-year milestones, residents dedicated to improving downtown as well as those dedicated to honoring the fallen firefighters of our community.

The awards ceremony began with the presentation of an appreciation plaque to local residents Joe and Carol Ott, who applied for and received a $500,000 community development grant to pay for outside rehabilitation of the Central Commercial building downtown. "This is an example of government and private enterprise working together," Byram said.

The Otts had revitalized the historical building with a new roof, windows awnings and canopies, as well as several other health and hazard-related improvements.

In exchange for the plaque, the Otts provided the mayor with a framed photograph display of the building. The city also recognized Charles Mecom II of Mecom Construction "for a job well done" on the workmanship.

Next on the list was an award for the Kingman Police Explorer Post 47, whose members the Clean City Commission wished to recognize for their clean-up project in the downtown area, south of the railroad tracks on Aug. 18.

The mayor then gave a plaque from the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada for one city employee's comprehensive annual finance report.

The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, "a significant financial achievement," Byram said, went to Coral Loyd, the city's finance director. Loyd has been with the city since August 1991. "Coral, I believe this is the second time you've won an award like this," the mayor said as he presented the plaque.

"Congratulations, and you do a great job handling finances for the city of Kingman."

Several other city employees were recognized for their "hard work, dedication and loyalty" to the city. The following were given certificates of recognition for service milestones:

• Blake Chapman, Bill Johnson, Jr., and Fred Proudfoot for 25 years of service.

• Mark Olivas and Ray Cullison, 20 years.

• Bob Casson and Rob Owen, 15 years.

• Jack King III, Bill Wyatt, Jim McErlean and Ed Tapia, 10 years.

• John Bowes, Even Kunert, Michael Coldiron, Gene Yerby and Carl Cooper, five years.

"Also tonight," Vice Mayor Dave French said, "the mayor and Council wish to give special thanks to our longest tenured employee, Monte 'Butch' Thompson, for his 31-1/2 years of continued commitment, dedication and loyalty to the city of Kingman."

Thompson has worked in the water department since March 16, 1976. He will retire officially Oct. 31.

"Almost 50 years ago, Butch was in my P.E. class," Byram said. "Butch, it's been a long time, 31-1/2 years of service to this community and this city. Congratulations."

The Kingman Fire Department also had a few people to recognize. The department had for a long time wished to implement an Honor Guard.

"In May, enough interest was sparked and Bill Johnston instigated a meeting of all interested fire department personnel," French said. "Today, the interest is astounding," as the Firefighters Association and International Association of Firefighters Local 4191 joined the KFD in forming the Guard. "We've been trying to do this for quite a few years," KFD Chief Chuck Osterman said. "They participate in this on their own time, we appreciate them very much, and I would like to present them with badges."

Guardsmen lined up and received badges from Osterman for their participation in parades and funerals of fallen heroes.

The following Guardsmen were awarded with badges: Roger Dixon, Keith Eaton, Fred Warring, Matt Klenke, Tanner Miller, Shane Milligan, KFD Chaplain Dave Patriquin, Andrew Rucker and Chris Simpson.