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City acknowledges service beyond call of duty
City Manager Karen McLaughlin is surrounded by department managers during Saturdays 43rd annual employee awards banquet. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Project analyst Jose Jasso is the 2013 City of Manteca Employee of the Year.

Jasso was honored along with Rob White for his efforts to save a potential drowning victim while off duty during the city’s 43rd annual employee awards banquet conducted Saturday at the Manteca Senior Center.  Service pins were also presented plus retirees acknowledged.

Jasso was lauded for forging strong working relationships and for serving as a positive ambassador representing the city. Those nominating him noted that he does not shy away from new challenges, but meets them head-on with enthusiasm and hard work. He has shown staying power and adaptability both by the length of employment with the City and in the many, increasingly responsible positions undertaken. 

Jasso came to the city through a “school work program” at the age of 16 in 1982-83. He became a part-time employee in June of 1985 and accepted full-time employment in August of 1987. His career began as a clerk-typist in the Public Works Department. In time, he advanced to an Administrative Assistant, Administrative Analyst, and now serves as Project Analyst – and, while working full-time, he earned a Bachelor’s degree.

While in Public Works, he learned the ins and outs of purchasing and was completing professional development courses with the goal of becoming a Certified Public Buyer. In his current role as Project Analyst in the City Clerk’s office, he continues to take advantage of all available training and professional-development opportunities, and has earned the Certified Municipal Clerk designation. He is currently working toward his Master Municipal Clerk Certification. He actively participates in professional associations related to his field.

His position requires him to work cooperatively with staff from every City department. He does this with tact, patience and knowledge. He is ready, willing and able to help at any time, any place, and any one. He does all of this with the utmost professionalism and integrity. 

Jasso keeps the paper moving through the City Clerk’s office, as there is always an agenda or a notice of some type to be published, posted and distributed. He keeps the Mayor and Council and his fellow employees informed through his coordination of The Week in Review and the monthly Project Status Report. And this year, he stepped up in a big way to help oversee the technology and American with Disabilities Act improvements to the City Council Chambers. 

• • •

JB Burkhardt award

The Jeff “JB” Burkhardt Memorial Foundation Humanitarian Award this year recognized off-duty firefighter engineer Rob White for his efforts in the rescue of a two year old drowning victim. 

He was off duty and was out jogging near his neighborhood park.  White happened to have his radio with him and heard the call come in for emergency response to a potential drowning of a young child. Knowing the area and recognizing another off-duty firefighter from another agency at the park who was walking his dog, he flagged down the other firefighter and told him about the call. They arrived on scene before emergency services could and administered CPR to his two-year old neighbor. He carried the child to the ambulance and let the crew take over to transport the child to receive medical attention. 

The little girl is alive today, in part, due to White.

He has been recognized for his actions by the American Red Cross and Manteca Unified School District/Woodward School.  

In 2013, the Jeff “JB” Burkhardt Memorial Foundation established the Humanitarian Award to recognize City of Manteca employees who believe in service above self, and who take action to improve the lives of those in need through selfless, courageous, creative and compassionate acts.

The first recipient of the award was Mike Kelly, Booking Officer with the Police Department. Through his work with the Police Department, a situation presented itself in which Kelly saw three kids who were in need of shelter, care and support, through no doing of their own. 

Kelly and his family generously opened their hearts and their home to these kids until more permanent arrangements could be made for their care. His job didn’t require this of him – he did this because he saw it as the right thing to do.

Service awards went to

• ADMINISTRATION: 10 Year Sue Ornelas 

• COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT: 5 Year Rochelle Henson, Mandy Kang, Brad Wungluck 

• FINANCE DEPARTMENT: 10 Year Cynthia Hathaway 

• FIRE DEPARTMENT: 5 Year Ryan Avant, Bradley Schemper, Dennis Hatfield, and Derek Leong; 15 Year William Canfield, Robert Grycel; 25 Year Robert Villalovoz 

• PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT: 5 Year Brian Johnson; 10 Year Hugo Harrewyn, Angel Sanchez; 25 Year Rick DeCosta

• POLICE DEPARTMENT: 5 Year Marissa Huntley, Mark Rangel, Pamela Takahashi; 10 Year Shaun Ferraro, and Kelly Orlandi; 15 Year Eva Steele, William Walmer

• PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT: 5 Year Rick Alvarez, Joel Ayala, Skye DeMaria, Andrea Edick-Tavares, David Estrada, Danny Lipe, Jason Mullings, Justin Nave, Jennifer Smekofske, and Fernando Ulloa; 10 Year Cass Durkin, Heather Grove, Brian Maruca, George Montross, George Ochoa, Manuel Santos, and Raymond Smith; 15 Year Michael Aguiniga, Glenna Dungan, and Robert Sumner; 20 Year Mike Boyd, Jim DeJong, Jason Frisk, Lucky Shaw, and Rick Sutton; 25 Year Dave Frank and John Grimson.

Employees that retired in 2013 were Lewis Clark, Police Department; Jim Stone Public Works; Peggy Miller, Police Department; Ronald Tilton, Public Works Department; and William Todd, Fire Department.

New employees hired during 2014 were  Eliseo Cema, Solid Waste; Laurie Ramirez, Wastewater; Joe Logan, Solid Waste; Austin Rioux, Fire; Crystal Pascale-Vandykhuizen, Police; Tricia Cobey, Finance; Denean Young, Parks & Rec; Johnathan Clark,  Wastewater; Michael Emery, Community Development; Cody Robinson, Wastewater; and Bryant Kendall, Fire.