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Hawaiian Gardens Employee Appreciation Week is Big Hit

[l-r] Mayor Reynaldo Rodriguez, Mayor pro-tem Barry Bruce, Councilmembers Mike Gomez and Victor Farfan stand with city employees recognized during Employee  Appreciation Week. Photo by Tammye McDuff.

[l-r] Mayor Reynaldo Rodriguez, Mayor pro-tem Barry Bruce, Councilmembers Mike Gomez and Victor Farfan stand with city employees recognized during Employee
Appreciation Week. Photo by Tammye McDuff.

By Tammye McDuff

A motion by Hawaiian Gardens City Manager Ernesto Marquez and Councilmember Mariana Rios was unanimously received and approved by the Hawaiian Gardens City Council to officially implement and authorize Employee Recognition Week.

Rios addressed Council saying “Mayor, it goes without saying that every meeting we have, there are always public comments from citizens on the many ways that our staff has helped our residents and business.”

Rios referred to an interoffice memo sent to her from Marquez, mentioning all the numerous ways employees throughout the city are recognized for their hard work and outstanding achievements.

Marquez memorandum stated that a weekly wellness pamphlet is included with each pay check with hints and various ways to apply a healthier lifestyle.

A monthly newsletter is sent from the City Manager’s office to all staff with updates and programs that are offered to improve in various ways from finances to family counseling.

The city hosts an annual employee appreciation dinner each December for employees, their families, Council members, Commissioners and special guests and the Public Works Department also plans a citywide holiday employee potluck.  Human Services has the largest department in the city and employees do vote for employee of the year in each division. In addition, employees elect an overall employee of the year, receiving a plaque that is posted in the reception area of the main lobby.

The first annual employee appreciation week for 2014 included a Taco Tuesday with entertainment; a sports day and an ice cream sundae special which were all very well received. Employees were also allowed to bring their children to the office on Kids Day.

Rios acknowledged the efforts from the city manager’s office, however still compelled the Mayor and City Council to adopt a more official acknowledgement of those employees who excel in their jobs or extend exceptional customer service stating “Official recognition and certificates and Employee of the Month are always a highlight to anyone’s resume.”

Rios accepted the memorandum from Marquez office and will be researching those ideas and city regulations with Human Resources for putting a more detailed policy into practice.

Councilman Victor Farfan agreed with Rios adding “The idea is a needed one and should be given priority, with nominees being suggested throughout the year. We need to have this conversation with the City Manager.”

The motion was unanimously received and approved.

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