The man who served as the Washougal interim finance director — in between the terms of Jeffrey Bivens and Jennifer Forsberg — is the “Employee of the Year.”
Assistant Finance Director RJ Stevenson was recognized with the “Overall Excellence in Public Service” award.
Summary comments provided by the nomination selection committee mentioned the finance department has had a couple of “turbulent years of leadership.”
“He has quietly stepped up to the plate in administering the budget process for the last two years,” the committee wrote about Stevenson. “This has resulted in many extra hours of work. However, he has completed the task without any complaint. He is amazing.”
The nomination selection committee included Joseph Layman, Jessica Honl, Ron Mitchell, Allen Cook, Larry Osentowski and Travis Davis.
Honl said Stevenson was “the perfect choice.”
“He deserves the citywide award,” she said. “He has worked so hard and never had a complaint. He is simply amazing.”
Stevenson started working for Washougal as the city accountant in February 2005. Two years later, he was promoted to assistant finance director.
“I see God’s blessing everyday, through the good times and the bad times,” Stevenson said yesterday. “I feel blessed that I get to work with great people at the City of Washougal. It’s an honor to receive such recognition, and I would like to thank everyone that I work with.”
Other employees who were honored Friday during an employee recognition breakfast included Tom Watts, from community development; Lee Bowles, from finance; Kelly MacDonald, from public works; Thad Eakins, from the police department; and Aireanna Baldwin, from the fire department.
Public Works Director Trevor Evers did not attend the breakfast, so he received his award certificate last night during the City Council workshop.
“One of the best things about these awards is that the individuals were both nominated and voted on by groups of their peers,” said Mayor Sean Guard. “It wasn’t myself or the department heads or the city administrator who made the choices. It was purely employees themselves singling out other employees.”
The honored employees’ names have been engraved on plaques displayed in their respective departments.