October 11, 2021 |
The Carbon County Commissioners last week shied away from naming the road and bridge shop servicing Riverside/Encampment after a long-time employee there. The request to memorialize the building after Dave Accord, who retired recently after 44 years with the department, came to the board from local resident Gary Jacobsen.
Pictured above: Carbon County Road and Bridge grater. Photo by Cali O’Hare/Bigfoot 99.
That was September 7th. Jacobsen said residents at the south end of the Upper North Platte Valley were enthusiastic about the idea. He told commissioners that he was setting up a fund to collect donations for a sign to hang on the building. Road and Bridge Superintendent Kandis Fritz voiced her support for the idea at the meeting.
Commissioners were receptive, but expressed several concerns. The first was honoring one employee by memorializing a building might disgruntle other employees with similar years of service. The other is simple fact of life. The county might run out of buildings before it honored every worthy employee who worked there. No motion was made at the meeting. The discussion was tabled. Chairman John Johnson introduced the topic last week.
Commissioner Byron Barkhurst went first and set the tone of the discussion that followed. Barkhurst said while it is important to acknowledge the service made by employees, memorializing buildings may not be the best option.
Commissioner Barkhurst said he supported putting a plaque honoring Accord outside the building. The names of other employees whose service should be recognized could be added in the future. Commissioner Travis Moore agreed with the idea of acknowledging all employees.
Moore said recognizing the service and dedication of employees is important for both preserving the history of the area as well as creating a work culture that engenders more of that kind of commitment. County-owned buildings are a limited resource, though.
Commissioner Moore said recognizing the service of employees while they are still on the job is as important as honoring someone after they retire.
One by one, each of the commissioners leaned into the discussion, echoing a consensus opinion that memorializing buildings is not the best way to honor the service of county employees.
Without making a commitment, the board appeared to settle on the general idea of honoring the service of county employees through some kind of a plaque on buildings across the county.
Chairman John Johnson expressed the hard place commissioners found themselves. They want to satisfy the request that was made last month, but in a way that is appropriate and sustainable.
Johnson said he would call Jacobsen personally and discuss the path the commissioners are taking. In the meantime, commissioners will explore a proposal to create plaques to be placed at county-owned buildings around the area.