Municipal Jobs Well Done

It must have been about 4 or 5 years ago during one of the winters from Hell that we had, I called the DPW (Department of Public Works) and asked if there could be anyway that they could send a plow to re-plow our small street.

In a very short time a big plow appeared and did one heck of a spectacular job.

I wrote the DPW a thank you note, saying how much I appreciated their extra care and consideration.

When I talked to whoever at the then DPW a little bit later, they said, I believe, that my “thank you” note was the only one that they had ever received, and that they put it up on the bulletin board as a morale booster for the folks that had been working so hard.


Apparently, Newburyport city employees often do not get thanked for a job well done.

And recently I got a very kind email from our Newburyport City Clerk, Richard Jones, thanking me for my “kind words” about the excellent job that the Newburyport City Clerk’s office did on election night, that was briefly mentioned on the Newburyport Blog. (See earlier entry.)

To be able to witness that process unfold was an incredibly moving and inspiring experience for me. It was a privilege for me to watch “Democracy” in action on election night at Newburyport City Hall.

That night, I couldn’t help thinking back to a national election that had gotten pretty muddled over election stuff. And I thought that we in Newburyport, MA, were so lucky to have such a professional and thoughtful approach by the Newburyport City Clerk’s office, that I wanted the readers of the Newburyport Blog to know just how luck we are.

And I know I’m not going to be real popular with this next thought. But there have been a lot of folks who are upset with the Newburyport City Unions, that they did not embrace the “new” health insurance plan (right away) and thereby saving the City of Newburyport, MA some major dough.

My take on the salaries of the folks that work for Newburyport, MA, is that with a few exceptions, they are pretty low, but the benefits have been good.

And that it is my understanding (and I can’t site the exact source for this one) that it is getting harder and harder to get folks (especially younger folks) to work on a municipal level.

And it takes a lot of money just to live to get by these days.

And as a city, I think we need to take a long look to make sure people might be inspired to work for municipalities. And appreciation for a job well done, in my book, always seems to go a long way.

Mary Eaton