Dunn, Ellington, Garcia: Three retiring employees receive City Tiles

July 17, 2009
Santa Paula City Council

City tiles were presented at the June 29 City Council meeting to a handful of employees who are retiring after long years of service.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesCity tiles were presented at the June 29 City Council meeting to a handful of employees who are retiring after long years of service. City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said John Dunn, Audrey Ellington, Elizabeth Garcia and Tony Villanueva (the latter unable to attend the meeting) served the city for decades.John Dunn’s way with animals is legendary, and Bobkiewicz noted the Animal Control Officer’s almost 29 years of service - he was hired late in 1980 - were notable not only for the public service offered. Dunn also demonstrated being the “core of what we do. Ask anybody when they’ve had a problem with an animal of any kind... ask anyone in Santa Paula what John was really good at - he’s good with the varmints.”Such encounters with smaller sized wildlife such as raccoons and opossums were mastered by Dunn, who proved to know the “safe and sane way to tackle the varmints,” as well as be extremely helpful to pet owners. Dunn’s service “was an important part of the community and an important part of what makes Santa Paula Santa Paula.” Bobkiewicz thanked Dunn for “many years of outstanding service,” and said he was pleased the city was able to find the funding to help Dunn better perform his job working with pets, strays and varmints.Dunn thanked his co-workers, and noted it was a pleasure to work for the city as well as serve the public. Over the decades dealing with many situations, including animals and their owners, “I tried to be fair, I really did,” he noted.Audrey Ellington, said Planning Director Janna Minsk, joined the city in 1984 as an accounting clerk, sharpened her skills, and was promoted and served several city departments. In recent years Ellington has worked for the Planning and Public Works departments, and served under as many as five different Planning Directors.
“Audrey has helped us in a variety of ways,” said Minsk, ranging from ensuring the timely publication of meeting notices and preparing agenda packets to even helping citizens at the department’s front counter. “We will,” noted Minsk, “miss you tremendously.”Ellington, said Bobkiewicz, “trained more planning directors than we can shake a stick at,” and was able to master her job duties including “keeping track of planning commissioners” to keeping up with zoning and other documentation.Acknowledging, “I’ve been here a long time and seen a lot of planning directors come and go,” Ellington said she would miss her co-workers. “I appreciate all you’ve done,” she noted, “and thank you very much.”Finance Director John Quinn noted that Liz Garcia, who started with the city in 1987, has something in common with Ellington: “Like with Audrey, I’m not sure how many finance directors you’ve gone though” over the decades. “I want to thank you personally for helping me when I got here; it’s not something I could have gotten through easily,” but Quinn noted Garcia helped him tremendously when he first joined the city.Garcia demonstrated “amazing knowledge of purchasing,” as well as strong recall of the many products and supplies purchased by the city on a regular basis. She also proved to be extremely detail orientated, among Garcia’s other attributes that Quinn said will be missed.Santa Paula City Hall, said Garcia, was a place she chose to spend the years, and she will sorely miss her co-workers.

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