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Honoring County Employees

Harvey Place, center, the winner of this year’s Employee of The Year, stands with Mayor Alan Arakawa, right, and Molokai County Council member Stacy Crivello, left.

Molokai county employees serve island residents every day by working to make sure community needs are met. In recognition of their services and hard work, employees from Maui County’s five departments on island were honored at a luncheon last Thursday.

“Every employee and job is critical to the operation that we have,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa. “We want to make sure that everybody recognizes that we as county employees are here to provide the very best services we can to the community so we can have the highest quality of life.”

County employees are responsible for a variety of tasks that keep the island running smoothly — and many work above and beyond their job description. From filling potholes to delivering meals to elders to providing emergency services, every job performed by Molokai employees is critical and should be respected, said Molokai County Council member Stacy Crivello.

“Mahalo from our community and our island, I don’t think we say that enough,” Crivello said. “I really want to say thank you.”

The 22nd annual Molokai Employee Recognition Luncheon held at Home Pumehana did just that by giving thanks to those with 10, 15, 20 and 25 years of service, county retirees, those with perfect attendance, and employee of the year nominees.

Three employees were believed by their departments to have performed outstanding services this year. Harvey Place of the Dept. of Public Works, Nathaniel Hubbard of the Police Dept. and Henry Lindo of the Dept. of Fire and Public Safety were nominated for Employee of the Year.

Harvey Place, construction equipment mechanic I, was awarded that honor, having been selected by a local committee. Place has been working with the Dept. of Public Works since 1977, according to a write-up of his accomplishments by the Dept. of Public Works.

In the past 37 years, Place has maintained equipment to keep it running at full force and salvaged parts for later use, never turning down an opportunity to put in overtime hours to get the job done. He proactively provides regular maintenance, preventing larger jobs in the future. With a positive attitude, Place sets an example of leadership for his co-workers and superiors, according to his department.

Local selection committee members reviewing the nominees were Kim Svetin, Zhantell Dudoit and Lyndon Dela Cruz.

“The three nominees for County of Maui Molokai Employee of the Year were all excellent,” saidSvetin. “It is a tough decision to select just one employee… It was a privilege to be on the committee this year.”

Supervisors select the best employees to nominate in each department and provide work summaries for each one, according to Svetin.Employees are selected based on their quality of work, consistency in the workplace and ability for teamwork, Arakawa said. With over 2600 Maui County employees, each island in the county is recognized, and every year someone new is honored, he added.

Employees honored at the luncheon for 10 years of service were Christy Manaba, Eddiemar Aganon, Craig Arinoki, Jimmy Casino, Pierson Kapuni and Douglas Campbell. Jorgen Busby, Sean Simon, Arlen Kaiama, Leon Piza and Perry Tangonan were honored for 15 years of service. Those with 20 years of service are John Cabanting and Wayne Alcon. Guy Joao and Isaac Kan-Hai were recognized for 25 years.

Retirees honored were Steven Arce after 41 years, Zachary Helm with 31 years, Keawe Puhi with 24 years, and Travis Tancayo at 15 years.

Those with perfect attendance the past year were Godfrey Akaka, Rogelio Cabanting, Zachary Crowder, Jonathan Honda, John Jakubczak, Kaleo Puaa, Nazario Ragonton, Tyson Santiago, Gerard Starkey, Georgiette Tancayo and the late Esmeralda Salinas.

“All of you are special because not only do you live here, but you love here and you love the people,” Dudoit said. “On behalf of the people…thank you for your hard work and service.”

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