GORE BAY—It was a night to acknowledge the efforts of all those help to make the township of Burpee-Mills operate effectively and efficiently. And one employee, who recently retired, was specially recognized for her efforts in the township office.
“Every municipality’s operations have some sad events, when things change and a person who has done a great job moves on or retires and is missed and that is the case with Delena Deeg who recently retired as clerk assistant in the municipal office,” said Councillor Pentti Palonen at a township staff appreciation dinner held at Twin Bluff’s Restaurant last Saturday evening. “We all miss seeing her in the office.”
“Delena was always calm, cool and collected,” said Councillor Palonen. “She has always been a pleasure to talk to, and always has a smile on her face. How could anyone be mad at her, even when you were paying your taxes?”
“We would like to make a small presentation to Delena,” said Councillor Palonen, noting, “I hope that when she looks at this painting we are presenting her she will remember all of us who miss seeing her in the office.”
“I do miss everyone in the office and all those people I’ve dealt with over the years,” said Ms. Deeg.
“We have two kinds of people in the municipality, those work hard and get paid and those who work hard as volunteers. They don’t have to be on the scene all the time, but when there is an emergency or an event they are there to help solve the problem or help out,” said Councillor Palonen. “For example, I’ve been on the fire department and at the fire hall when there is a whole bunch of people on hand who want to help out in an emergency.”
“And there are the people that work very hard for the township and deservedly get paid for their work,” said Councillor Palonen. He praised the efforts of Eve Borzaga, Fred Arniel and Gerry Levec who work at the transfer station. “I get comments from people about how happy they are with these three people––how helpful and friendly they are, and how that attitude is appreciate by residents in the community.” He pointed out an official with the ministry of environment said ‘this was the first dump site that he visited that doesn’t smell like a garbage dump.’
“Shane Chatwell is the township public works supervisor and he has made sure equipment has been working and maintained and things are running efficiently,” said Councillor Palonen. “We now have a new garage workshop and a backup generator at the community centre which also acts as a backup if there are any problems at the lodge. And when you go out to the parking lot at the community centre, smile, because you are on video camera.”
“Shane has implemented a number of new things and people will say our township has the best maintained municipal roads on Manitoulin Island,” said Councillor Palonen. “It’s amazing how well the roads are kept up and it requires a lot of work. Brian Deeg works full-time but you won’t see much of him unless you are awake really early in the morning. He operates the snowplow at 3 am. I am personally quite happy to get up at 8 am and know the roads are ready to drive on.”
“A lot of people provide services that make our community work well and don’t get a lot of credit,” said Councillor Palonen, noting the work Morley Runnalls carries out as caretaker of the municipal cemetery.
“The person in charge of the municipal office is Bonnie Bailey,” continued Councillor Palonen. “One of her jobs is to fill out all those applications, forms and reports––all the paper work. These efforts get us grants to do and get all the things we need in the community. If not for her efforts we would have to go to the taxpayers for more money to run the municipality. She has been very successful in getting funding for the municipality.”
“Lee Anne Bailey (clerk assistant) is the new kid on the block,” noted Councillor Palonen. “As she understands, when you work in a small rural office, you have to provide your own rubber boots,” he quipped. “This is the case because if the reeve’s signature is needed on paper work or a document she is required to walk across a hay field, manure and sometimes into a barn to get his signature.”
“As you know our reeve (Ken Noland) is a farmer, and when you call him on his cell phone the first response you will usually get is mooo!… because he has one of his cows standing right beside him?” quipped Councillor Palonen.