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Board of Supervisors Celebrate Public Works Week

Pictured from (l. to r.): Lisa McCullough, Water and Sanitation, Chuck Alvarez, Central Services, Kathy Jones, Watershed Protection, winner Rose Paredes, Engineering Services, winner Bill DuFrain, Watershed Protection, Howard DeLeon, Transportation, Jose Ramirez, Transportation, Sean Hanley, Water and Sanitation

By Tim Pompey

Among a sea of orange safety jackets, the Board of Supervisors gathered on Tuesday, May 21, at the Ventura County Hall of Administration to acknowledge and celebrate National Public Works Week.

The celebration was an acknowledgment of the contributions of employees from the County of Ventura Public Works Agency who are the front line for managing and maintaining the county’s vast infrastructure. Services provided by the agency include engineering, county property leasing, central administration and support, water and sanitation, and watershed protection.

Jeff Pratt, Director of Public Works, explained to the board, “We like to believe that Public Works is the foundation to all thriving communities.”

For employees of the department of Public Works, the acknowledgment highlighted their often  unheralded work behind the scenes. “It’s a chance to recognize what we take for granted every day of our lives,” said Pratt. “It’s a morale booster. These folks hear a lot of complaints. This is a chance to recognize their outstanding work.”

The celebration provided public displays in the administration hall lobby from various Public Works departments. There was also an outdoor exhibition of the department’s heavy equipment.

The celebration also included the annual selection of two Public Works representatives as employees of the year. This year there were seven people nominated from the agency’s various departments: Angela Bonfiglio Allen, watershed protection; Howard De Leon, transportation; Andy Flores, water and sanitation; Deanna Keller, water and sanitation; Pam Landrio, central services; Dan Walsh, engineering services; and Mike Zaffina, transportation.

This year’s winners were Angela Bonfiglio Allen and Andy Flores.

Bonfiglio Allen is an environmental planner with the Watershed Protection District. She has been with Public Works for eight years. She previously worked with the California Department of Water Resources for 12 years and has a background in geography and environmental studies from UCLA. She credited her team as the reason for her public recognition. “I have really had a great time working with people here at the department, sometimes on some very challenging projects,” she said. “I appreciate the recognition, but I would also like to recognize the rest of the team.”

Flores is a water service worker for the Water and Sanitation Department. He has been employed with Public Works for six years. He approaches his job with a strong work ethic. “It’s good to be recognized,” he said, “but I don’t do it for the recognition. It’s just what I do. I’m lucky to have a great team.”

David Fleisch, director of the Transportation Department, believes that National Public Works Week is a great opportunity to recognize the important contributions from each of the agency’s departments. “It gives us an opportunity to highlight what we do on a daily basis,” he said. “Most people don’t realize how they’re impacted every day by what we do. It’s our celebration of what Public Works is.”

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