Belinda Parker has been selected as the City of Clinton’s Employee of the Year for 2015, the second straight year the citywide honor has gone to a Clinton Police Department employee.
Parker, a senior administrative specialist with the Police Department for nearly four years, expressed her gratitude for receiving the accolade but said any individual recognition she receives would not be possible if not for a strong department filled with dedicated employees.
“I feel really honored to have received this award from my peers,” Parker stated. “I could not do or accomplish what I do without the help of my co-workers and it is a privilege to work with such outstanding individuals.”
This is the third year the city has named an Employee of the Year in what is now an annual recognition. At the top of the City Council’s brief Tuesday night meeting, City manager Shawn Purvis presented four finalists nominated by their peers for the award.
In addition to Parker, also nominated were: Stacey Ray, senior administrative specialist with the Public Works and Utilities Department; Joy Culbreth, administrative specialist with the Clinton Fire Department; and Ashley Blackmon, who was previously the Billing and Collections Supervisor but recently took a job with USDA.
All were recognized by the City Council before City manager Shawn Purvis named Parker as the winner.
“All are very well deserving,” said Purvis. “They are nominated by their peers, who go through great detail as to why they are deserving of this award.”
Before announcing Parker as the honoree, Purvis read comments submitted about the Employee of the Year.
“This year’s recipient has been described as dependable and helpful. She routinely goes out of her way to help both her team members and citizens,” the city manager read. “She seems to have a sixth sense to know what others need and always looks for opportunities to help. She genuinely cares for others and demonstrates the values that make the city a great place to work.”
Parker began with the Clinton Police Department in February 2012 so next month will mark four years with the department.
Parker was one of three finalists for the award last year, along with fellow senior administrative specialist Brittany Locklear, who took the award. This was also Ray’s second nomination, having received one in the award’s inaugural year.
“All of these nominations come from peers,” Purvis has stated. “Department heads and administration is not involved — it’s all peer nominations.”
Those peer nominations are considered by an Employee Relations Committee, which narrows the nominations down to a small group — three to five — before handing the process over to a three-person Citizen Committee that makes the final decision.
“Those citizens anonymously pick from the group that’s been narrowed down,” Purvis previously explained. “It’s not a popularity contest. It’s really based on people who are committed to the core values we have — respect, teamwork and professional excellence.”
Parker was presented a plaque by Mayor Lew Starling and a small stipend at the City Council meeting. Other nominees also received a small token of appreciation. Purvis echoed Parker’s statements, saying in the end it was all about awarding those who strive to make their team, and thus the city, better.
“It’s all about merit,” he said, “and what they do for their team.”
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