County Workers Count

Molokai employees honored at luncheon.

Detective Eugene Santiago (center) receives the Molokai Employee of the Year award from Mayor Charmaine Tavares (second from left). They are joined by Assistant Chief of Police Wayne Ribao (far left), Captain Jody Singsank (front right) and fellow members of the Molokai Police Department.

By Catherine Cluett

Detective Eugene Santiago doesn’t work normal nine to five days; nor does he devote a normal amount of energy to his job. A reputation for going above and beyond the call of duty has earned Santiago a distinguished title: 2008 Molokai Employee of the Year.

“Detective Santiago worked 201 cases between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008, with investigations including drug and firearm related cases, burglaries, forgeries, arson, sexual assaults, criminal property damage and computer crimes,” said police Captain Jody Singsank in her nomination speech for Santiago.

“He is always looking at ways to improve himself as an investigator, supervisor, manager and leader,” she continued. Santiago is the only detective on the island.

County employees were honored for their service to the community in a recognition luncheon last Tuesday. Council Vice-Chair Danny Mateo welcomed those present and extended his gratitude for Molokai residents’ services to the community and the county.

County officials presented service awards to those who had served for 10, 15, 20, 25 and 35 years, as well as those with perfect attendance records for the year and those retiring from their positions this year.

Mayor Charmaine Tavares spoke at the event about the spirit of cooperation of Molokai, and the challenges the Ranch has placed before the community. “It’s not right,” she said. “The Ranch has no business being in business and treating the people of Molokai the way they have.”

“The County of Maui is behind the people of Molokai,” she added.

Council members Mayor Charmaine Tavares, Council Chair Riki Hokama, Council Vice-Chair Danny Mateo, and Council Members Gladys Baisa, Joseph Pontanilla, Michael Molina, and Michael Victorino were all present at the luncheon.

Below is a list of the awards and recipients:

Employee of the Year: Eugene Santiago, Department of Police
Other nominee: Guy Espaniola, Department of Parks and Recreation

Service Anniversary Awards
10 yrs: Thomas K. Arce, Kanoa K. Haake, and Dennis M. Meyer, Sr.

15 yrs: Renee K. Kaulili, Herold-Lee R. Manaois, Benito S. Piros, Nazario G. Ragonton, Jr., Georgiette W. Tancayo, Wendi-Liz P. and Tancayo-Mebille

20 yrs: Mark K. Aveiro, Rogelio Cabanting, Isaac I. Kan-Hai, Rick K. Schonely, and Justiniano Venenciano

25 yrs: Michael A. Sabas

35 yrs: Steven R. Arce

Retirees: Carl W. Puhi with 32 years, Wren W. Wescoatt with 28 years, Earl N. Paleka with 24 years, and Artemio T. Trinidad, Sr. with16 years

Perfect Attendance: Ella L. Alcon, Steven R. Arce, Jimmy C. Casino, John C. Foster, Timothy K. Gapero, Elpidio E. Gorespe, Cal-Jason K. Hoopai, Gregory E. Jenkins, Dennis W. Meyer, Sr. , Timothy K. Meyer, Leonida L. Molina, Wade H. Nakayama, Nazerio G. Ragonton, Esmerelda E. Salinas, Oran A. Satterfield III, and Justiniano Venenciano

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