The day before an election that has the potential to shift the balance of power in Wake County, the Board of Commissioners steered clear of controversy and spent much of its regular meeting honoring the contributions of county employees and volunteers.
County Manager Jim Hartmann presented awards to a sheriff’s deputy who specializes in handing domestic violence cases and an EMS team that saved a heart attack victim during a February snow storm.
Hartmann also recognized public health workers who have reduced injuries among children in vehicles, improved school nursing services to help students whose health conditions interfere with their education, helped the Human Services department get public health accreditation, developed a playground where children learn about health, led education programs on black women’s health, created the county’s first diabetes support group for Latinos, and improved the system that provides transportation to the county’s rural residents; and to the team that made the county’s website, wakegov.com, one of the best of its kind.
In addition to its 3,800 or so employees, Wake County also relies on thousands of volunteers who help at the county’s animal adoption center, at voting precincts, in the department of Human Services, in the libraries and parks, and on boards and commissions.
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Commission member Joe Bryan presented annual achievement awards to a group of volunteers whose work had been cited by a selection committee.
They were: Dr. Benjamin Ferdon and Dr. Robert Majors, who have volunteered at the county’s Open Door Clinic for more than 10 years each; Michael Legeros and Lee Wilson, who have taken thousands of on-the-job photographs of the county’s emergency workers; Maddie Sargent and Keishaun Hines, young leukemia survivors who have helped raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Carolina; Doris Reyes and Ignacio Fiecha, a father-and-daughter team who have helped the Cary Creative Center increase its sales of discarded materials that are reused in the making of art; Ivy Iverson, who has greeted visitors at Marbles Kids Museum for 12 years; and Mary Johnstone, who generates interest in animals left at the county animal center by featuring them in photographs.
The Board of Commissioners did hold a public hearing on the renewal of a contract for nonemergency ambulance service.
Dr. Brent Myers, medical director for Wake County Emergency Medical Services, recommended that the board approve the contract with Samaritan Ambulance Service of Wendell, which transports convalescent-care patients.