By Tonya Garner: CNJ staff writer
Curry County Manager Dick Smith presented two awards during the Curry County Commission meeting Tuesday morning.
Johnny Berry was honored as employee of the year. Berry has been with Curry County since 2002 and is the fairgrounds caretaker in the county’s maintenance department. His duties include painting, mowing and basic upkeep of the Curry County Fairgrounds.
His supervisor, Lee Delk, said Berry is deserving of the honor because he approaches his job whole heartedly.
“He (Berry) lives on-site (Curry County Fairgrounds) and works 365 days a year” Delk said. “He has the initiative to get things done.” Delk referred to the honored employee as “a super trooper” and “the pick of the litter.”
The quiet and unassuming Berry shyly accepted his award but declined to make an acceptance speech.
Coni Jo Lyman was recognized as the supervisor of the year. Employed by Curry County for 22 years, Lyman is supervisor of the Bureau of Elections and oversees two employees.
Stephanie Boydstun, who has worked under Lyman for the last decade, said her supervisor is deserving of the honor because she is kind and gracious. “She (Lyman) is so organized and easy to work with,” Boydstun said. “I think she’s great.”
Lyman graciously thanked everyone for bestowing her with the honor. “It is a blessing and a pleasure to work for Curry County,” she said.
The honorees were presented with plaques engraved with their name, date and honor and gift certificates to a local restaurant. Smith said the plaques will be hung in a “prominent place” in the Curry County Courthouse.
According to Assistant Curry County Manager Lance Pyle, 2006 marks the first year Curry County has honored employees with these awards. The honors were given in conjunction with National County Government Week and will become an annual event. Pyle said the recipients were chosen by a committee of department heads.
“I am pleased and honored to work with these people (award recipients),” Smith said, “because so much of working for Curry County is about the people.”
Other agenda items discussed during the meeting:
• Commissioner Kathrynn Tate reported she attended the Library Board meeting. The North Annex at the Clovis-Carver Public Library is used by grand juries and may possibly be used for future trials because of the construction at the Curry County Courthouse.
• Chairman Tim Ashley proclaimed Curry County a multicultural county. According to the proclamation, Curry County is blessed with a diversity of cultures and citizens are urged to reflect on the contributions to the county made by its diverse people.
• Marv Schultz, administrator of Retirement Ranch, gave a presentation on Prairie Meadows, an assisted living facility that will be constructed west of the Retirement Ranch on six acres of land leased from Plains Regional Medical Center. Schultz reported the groundbreaking on the $12 million project will occur within the next 120 days. The facility will include studio and one-bedroom accommodations at 400 and 500 square feet, respectively. Rent for each unit is estimated at $2,500, which includes dietician-planned meals and linen laundry services.
• County Assessor Randy Williams reported property owners should be receiving their Notices of Value in the mail by today.
• Coni Jo Lyman reported her department has issued a license to Mr. W Fireworks to sell fireworks in Curry County. According to Lyman, the proprietor of the fireworks business is aware of the county’s burn ban. Mr. W plans to sell “safe and sane” fireworks such as sparklers, smoke and snake items excluded from the fireworks ban.
• Grant Facilitator Miranda Chavez reported Curry County received $187,901 in grant money that will be used for the next fiscal year’s DWI programs. Curry County was also awarded a $4,100 grant from the New Mexico Clean and Beautiful organization to fund youth groups in beautifying Curry County.