At the start of every Dane County Board meeting, a Supervisor provides an inspirational message or prayer before we together say the Pledge of Allegiance. At our February 18th meeting, Supervisor Robin Schmidt delivered her inspirational message by which she recognized the many Dane County employees and the service they provide to us all. I’m sharing her remarks below as it is a good summary of what Dane County does and who is actually providing the service.
“Tomorrow [February 19] is Employee Appreciation Day – and my inspiration tonight is dedicated to the public employees of Dane County who work hard to ensure our quality of life is maintained and our communities remain viable. While others take potshots at public employees – I ask you all to imagine life in Dane County without these talented public workers and to say thanks with me for using their talents to enhance lives in Dane County.
To all the 911 workers who calmly and professionally respond to every call of crisis and panic as well as the emergency management staff who are ready to implement their response plans during and after any major crisis in our area;
To all the human service staff and managers who work hard to ensure that our providers’ patiently and professionally care for those who cannot care for themselves, help guide those needing support and counsel with dignity and humanity those who with just a little help can succeed;
To all the sheriff’s staff who help keep us safe and secure, who put themselves at risk for us, who make life and death decisions on a daily basis with the utmost of professionalism and who see people often at their worst;
To the staff who work to keep our public parks, our lakes and recreational areas managed, designed and operated in a way so that all of the public can enjoy our amazing natural resources – and by doing so make Dane County one of the most desirable places to live and work in the country;
To the District Attorneys and judges who provide justice to those for whom injustice has occurred – and do so with compassion and a vision for ways to minimize recidivism and racial inequities;
To the public works staff who not only keep the roads plowed 24/7, but who do so using plows fueled from CNG generated at the landfill, as just one example of where they have implemented sustainable operations throughout county government so that we can be leaders in saving energy as well as money for our residents;
To the staff who serve residents and visitors alike at the zoo, the airport, in our library system, and at the Alliant Energy Center, using their talents and professional training to make these services among the best in the nation – and for whom our vote later this evening will move us forward to ensure their jobs and their services are continued;
To the public health staff who provide information and education on various health issues, as well as our highly acclaimed medical examiner and his staff who can help answer the question of what happened during the darkest of times;
To the planners, zoning staff and others who help manage land information – managing complex records so critical for our ability to build our homes and our dreams;
To our legislative liaison who has to go to the capitol every day and fight against the attempts by state legislative leaders to take away local control whenever they disagree with how a local government is operating;
And to all the staff who support county operations – those who collect the taxes that pay for these services, who ensure that all of our citizens have access to vote in elections, who ensure veterans are served by us when they have completed their service to us, who provide learning opportunities in partnership with the UW Extension to enhance the quality of our lives, who process the paychecks for each of these hard working staff and all others who work with each of us as well as the county executive to manage the county in what we call “the Dane County Way.“
Thank you all – we have the best public employees in the nation – and it makes me proud to serve with you each day!”