Big thanks for often thankless jobs

To the editor,

Having announced my plan to retire in early 2020, I would be remiss to do so without recognizing the support and hard work of city staff.

City employees do not get enough recognition for the work they do. There is a mean-spirited trend sweeping the country that is eroding civility and denigrating respect for public servants. One way to combat that trend is to encourage the public to think about all the tasks completed by city staff that make their lives better.

While we were sleeping, patrol cars kept our neighborhoods safe, 911 Dispatch answered calls, and IS staff installed software upgrades. As Durango woke up this morning, people turned on the tap, flushed the toilet, then drove to work on well-maintained streets. Not to mention the efforts of airport staff who focus on safely navigating the horizon and library employees who expand our horizons. Let’s face it. The only time the public realizes what we do for them is when something breaks. The community places a high value on city services. The work performed by city employees is the foundation of the quality of life in Durango.

Citizens might like to know: What makes our staff answer the phone to deal with a belligerent caller? Why do Collection & Distribution crews get up in the middle of the night to stand in freezing cold water to repair a broken sewer or water main? Who would want to put on a police uniform to face the uncertainty of potential lethal threats while working a patrol shift? The list goes on.

City employees take pride in their work and in our community. They demonstrate high levels of professionalism and integrity. City employees want this city to be well run and a good value for the taxpayers. The individual efforts of city staff contribute to the overall success of the community. Staff are not looking for public recognition and accolades, they do this because they believe they can make a difference.

Honestly, there are parts about my job that I will not miss. However, I will miss working with the city staff. I would like to thank all members of Team Durango because you have made my job more rewarding and meaningful.

– Ron LeBlanc, City Manager