Mayor Cathy Skurow and the Portland City Council Members recently proclaimed their gratitude for all City of Portland employees. "We are very proud of our city employees and what they do for our community every day. Here is a tribute that the City Council and I read at the December 20, 2022, City Council Meeting" - Mayor Cathy Skurow.
2022 Tribute to City Employees
"Each year, Christmas on the Coast gets bigger and better and we, the Portland City Council, are grateful to the city staff for the tremendous efforts that have gone into this year’s festivities. This year’s festivities have and will continue to provide family fun and these events will continue to spread goodwill throughout our community for the remainder of the holiday season.
When planning these types of events, every single city employee is somehow involved. Of course, we see up front and center, our Parks and Recreation and our Communication and Marketing employees. We are grateful for their enthusiasm, their creativity and for growing Christmas on the Coast each year. Besides the events from last year, this year’s new events included breakfast with Santa, the Jingle Bell Concert series featuring Kyle Park, the illuminated 5K tinsel trot and who would have ever thought we’d see Santa wrestling the Grinch. To undertake just one new event is daunting, but this group of individuals poured their hearts and souls into several new and successful events. We want to commend each of you for everything you have done and will do this holiday season. This is your time to shine and, this year, you certainly have.
There are also employees that may not be as “up front and center” but none the less, play an important role in Christmas on the Coast. These employees are behind the scenes, or they take on a role that many may not recognize.
Thank you to our fire department for decorating the City Council float for the parade. We were also most impressed with the flashy ride you provided for Rudolph and his friends. We know that in order for you to participate in our holiday events, you go above and beyond to make sure we are safe by creating contingency plans for our community when you are participating.
Thank you to our police officers for keeping us safe during the entire month-long events. And we also want to thank those public safety employees who are always “holding down the fort” while we were enjoying ourselves. Our dispatchers are our first line of communications when large events are going on and we seldom get to see you at our events. We were also most impressed with the parade float decorated by the animal care services employees and that they won first place in the illuminated category. And we cannot forget about our school crossing guards and our school resource officers that keep the holiday spirt alive at our schools.
Thank you to our city secretary’s office for all the extra touches and for cleaning the events spaces. I bet very few people even think about “who’s cleaning up afterwards.” And I bet that even fewer people know that all our custodial services report to the city secretary.
Thank you to our public works and parks department for putting up the incredible decorations throughout the city. You have out done yourselves this year and the Community Center Complex is absolutely beautiful. We recognize that there is still so much work to be done after the holidays to take down and store our decorations for next year. So, thank you for all you have done and will still do.
Our small but mighty development services department, made up of three employees, provided support and encouragement the entire time. And the Christmas tree they decorated for the Christmas Tree Forest was a crowd favorite. I’m sure that the family who received this tree for their very own will cherish it for years to come.
The library continues to out-do themselves every holiday season. They continue to inspire the young and young at heart to travel beyond imagination through the wonderful world of books. There is no better gift to give our community. One of the most inspirational things our library does each season is to help our children write a letter to Santa. And, of course, they work with Santa to make sure that every child receives a return letter.
We also want to thank and recognize our finance department. Keeping track of city finances is a tremendous responsibility. Not only do we have stellar employees in our finance department, but it’s important to note that we have an award-winning finance department as recognized amongst their peers. Many people will not know that most of our events for Christmas on the Coast are financed by hotel occupancy tax. The city can spend these funds to attract visitors our city. We love our city and want to share our holiday events with visitors. We want to thank our finance department for always ensuring that we are spending the money we collect in the most expeditious and efficient manner possible to benefit our residents and visitors alike.
It's hard to miss the 150-foot LED Christmas tree at the police department. Thank you to our IT department for their hard work in designing, building and installing our phenomenal light display that is visible to all who travel anywhere in or around Portland. It is a Christmas tree like no other in South Texas.
And, last but certainly not least, we want to thank the office of the city manager. If you can make the analogy between a city and a human, the office of the city manager is the brains of the operation. Now, we know that the brain can have a few headaches from time to time. But one would never know. This year’s Christmas on the Coast has been executed flawlessly. We are grateful for the city manager and his team who have taken the vision of the city council for Christmas on the Coast to a new high this year and more, importantly that they have worked diligently to continue what we believe will be a long-lasting tradition in Portland.
Tonight, each of the members of the city council is wearing the “Christmas on the Coast” tee-shirt as our way of standing with and thanking the City of Portland employees for a job well done. We recognize that staff has gone far above and beyond expectations to make Christmas on the Coast a memorable time for all guests, whether they are local residents or visitors. We appreciate you all and wish each and every city employee and Happy holiday season and a prosperous new year."