You see them every day in your local community. Whether they are a police officer patrolling the streets, a parks and recreation employee picking up trash at a local park, or the clerk who processes your monthly utilities bill, you see a public servants make a difference in your life every day. They are the people who work hard to give back to our communities to make them great places to live. So, what does it take to be a public servant? Here are just a few of the intangibles it takes to be a local government worker.
Deep love of your community. A local government worker must have a deep love for their community to continually serve on a daily basis. Love of community can be seen as going the extra mile or doing the job because it needs to be done.
We recently had a chance to discuss the value of public service with some of LAGERS members. Deborah Baker from Pulaski County Health Center had this to say about public service:
“When you get into the field [of public service] it sort of consumes you. So, you’re always looking for ways to do more and go that extra mile…Sometimes I go the extra mile and do things that no one knows that I’m doing because I just take my job to heart.”
I believe that Deborah has a deep love of her community and it pushes her to serve her community on a daily basis. She doesn’t do the job because she has to; she does the job because it’s the right thing to do for the community she loves.
Strong Dedication. Dedication is a trait that is a must have for public servants. You don’t want a fire fighter, police officer, or any public servant performing their job and not be completely committed. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have a fire fighter who is not dedicated to their job attempting to save my life. Same is true of the person who picks trash at your local parks. Someone has to be devoted to wake up every morning and decide they want to pick trash that day.
Marilyn Baugh is a long tenured dedicated employee from Jasper County and here is what she had to say about public service:
“I’ve been with Jasper County for 39 years! It’s been a variety of things over those years…and on a daily basis, I go to work and try to do the best job I can do.”
Marilyn is the definition of dedicated. When you have been with the same employer for as long as she has, you’re dedicated to the task and you always want to make sure the job gets done.
A desire to make an impact. Public servants make an impact on the continuation and improvement of our communities. They repair our streets, fight crime, provide recreational sports, and much more. One trait I have noticed when speaking with public service is their undying desire to help their communities become greater every day.
Karen Bailey is another long tenured employee from the City of Sikeston and here is what she had to say about public service:
“We make a difference in the lives of 20,000 people every day. We make the community safer; we make the community cleaner. It’s nice to work somewhere where you can make that kind of an impact…I am the HR Director / City Treasurer for the City of Sikeston…I work with employees every day to make their lives better…So, I’m helping those who help others. Pretty rewarding!”
Karen has a deep understanding of what it means to make an impact on her community. She has been with the City of Sikeston for over 30 years and she does it because she has a desire to make an impact on her community through her work with the City’s employees.
These are just a few of the thousands public servants that are working daily to make our communities better. Our communities would not be the places they are today without these dedicated, invested and driven people who are continuously working for our communities to make them the best they can be.