This is the second year for LAGERS' annual Local Government Hero Award and the three finalists embody the very best in public service. Although the recent uncertainty in the world has brought more attention to local government workers and the importance of the services they provide to taxpayers, this is something we have known all along. Local government services directly touch our lives every day. Every time we flip a light switch, turn on a faucet, drive on a city street, and use a park, we have local government workers to thank. Beyond that, they are also the brave individuals that show up when we are having our worst days and need to make a 911 call. All of the recent attention is well-deserved, but these public servants should have the spotlight shown on them in good times and bad. That is why LAGERS is proud to recognize our best with this award.
LAGERS is proud to present the 2020 Local Government Hero Award finalists.
David Dunn, City of Monett
"My job has been a blessing. It has provided a good life for me and my family and I consider the people I work with my extended family."
David is the Assistant Superintendent of Public Works for the City of Monett where he has served his community for 23 years. David is highly respected for his public works knowledge and serves as a role model for his co-workers. He views safety as a priority and volunteers to serve on the safety committee. David is very active in his community serving in leadership roles with the scouts, teaching Sunday school at his church, and volunteering as a mentor for kids in an after-school program.
Carol Rhodes, City of Columbia
"Public sector work is about doing things for the benefit of others. Being willing to serve your community in ways that cannot be accomplished in the private industry."
Carol is the Assistant City Manager at the City of Columbia with 26 years devoted to her community. Before that, Carol worked in county government for five years. She loves using her skills and expertise to help others and to make her city a better place to live. Carol has been instrumental in helping guide the city through some big changes over the past year where the city manager, police chief, fire chief, and finance director positions were all filled with new faces. She was the stabilizing force through it all, kept the city on track, and was an encouraging voice to the city's employees.
Darold Donathan, City of Branson
"I enjoy serving my community to help them feel safe and comfortable in the city they have chosen to live and work. I enjoy establishing relationships and community trust which will have positive lasting results."
Darold is a Community Resource Officer with the City of Branson where he has served for 21 years. His primary focus is developing relationships with members of the community and serving as a resource for local residents. Darold takes the lead on several projects such as the summer teen engagement program, citizens' police academy, national night out, community watch programs, police explorer programs, and shop with a hero in order to accomplish his goals as a community resource officer. He also serves as the city's safe housing officer where he partners with hotels, property managers and residents to create a safe and secure residential environment.
About This Award
LAGERS’ Local Government Hero Award recognizes local government workers who make a difference in their community day in and day out. The winner should exemplify LAGERS' values of dedication, respect, teamwork, integrity, excellence, communication, and accountability through their words and actions as described and/or explained through details and examples of their performance, achievements and contributions impacting their workplaces and communities. There are many employees who work very hard every day and routinely meet or exceed expectations. However, this award is designed to recognize those employees who truly stand out among public servants.
The award finalists will be honored at LAGERS' annual meeting in October where the winner will be announced. The finalists were chosen from 22 nominees submitted from all over Missouri.