If it weren't for those who quietly and consistently work behind the scenes, the public face of public service wouldn't look quite so bright. One of those rarely seen city of Santa Fe employees is Clara Sweeney, City Hall custodian. For her unfailing efforts -- even when assistance and top-notch equipment are scarce -- Sweeney has been honored as the city's employee of the month for March.
"Clara is the kind of employee who makes the city of Santa Fe and City Hall look great. I've seen her single-handedly bring this place back to where it should be to be presentable," said Maryanne Seiderer, the city's Short Term Rental Program manager who nominated Sweeney for the award.
Two Santa Fe County employees are among the recent graduates of special certification courses offered by the New Mexico Association of Counties. Richard Varela, a senior election administrative specialist, earned the designation of Certified Public Supervisor, the second highest certification level in his field. And Erle Wright, GIS data integration administrator, was among the first-ever recipients of the New Mexico Certified Geographic Information Systems Specialist designation.
Wright was also honored as the county's most recent employee of the quarter for his contributions to the redistricting of county commissioner districts. The time-consuming and complex project is required every 10 years, based on new census data. Wright has served as primary in-house consultant for the past two redistricting projects, resulting in substantial savings to the county, according to his nominators.
The most recent undertaking involved a constrained time frame, numerous changes and several lengthy public meetings and hearings. "Erle Wright accomplished this with the utmost professionalism, courtesy and even a sense of humor ... proving (once again) that we have superlative staff capabilities," his nominators said.
New Mexico Office of the State Engineer employee Kim Harris is the recipient of a $20,000 scholarship award from the Udall Foundation, which works to enhance tribal self-determination and self-governance.
Harris is Navajo and from the Four Corners area. She works as an imaging technician in the Water Rights Abstract Bureau while also attending The University of New Mexico, from which she expects to graduate in 2013 with Bachelor of Science degrees in both geography and Earth and planetary science.
Harris is one of only 10 American Indian undergraduate students nationwide to receive the award, which goes to "those who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to the environment," according to WRAB Bureau Chief Rick DeSimone. Among Harris' accomplishments is her 2007 National Skills USA award for mathematical
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