A well-deserved thank you

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No organization likes to see its employees leave. Even if they are going on to a well-deserved retirement, a better career opportunity or because of circumstances beyond their control, their absences leaves huge holes in the tightly woven fabric of any entity.
Over the recent months, six high-ranking Valencia County employees have tendered their resignations or are making plans to depart very soon. Many of those leaving are doing so after dedicating the lion’s share of their public service careers to Valencia County and all leave with decades of experience in their respective fields.
Their expertise, professionalism and service to the residents of the county will be sorely missed. There probably isn’t a single person living in the county who went untouched in some way by their dedication to public service, even if they never knew it.
If your roads were fixed or a sign replaced, thank Bill Chavez and the road department. When the county-owned buildings you visited were clean and safe, that was the work of Robert Martinez.
Angel Martinez worked diligently to make sure the environment inside those buildings was safe, not only for county employees, but for everyone who stepped through the doors.
Jacque Chavira spent hours educating herself about county government and changes in the law so she could better serve the county employees, ensuring that they were taken care of during their time with the county and after. By making sure their employment was a worry-free time, Chavira empowered employees to dedicate themselves to serving the public.
In the private sector, buying something is a simple proposition. When a government entity makes a purchase, simple goes out the window, and Rebecca Nevarez steadfastly held the line when it came to the proper way to buy things for the county, providing one more way to ensure that our tax dollars were used correctly.
And being a good steward to your taxes was something Wilma Abril dedicated herself to do. Helping to balance a multi-million dollar budget, especially in a down economy, was something Abril took great pride in.
It is hard to put into words just how critical the services these and all county employees perform on a daily basis. And with their leaving, now the county is in the unenviable position of having to replace them. The institutional knowledge these people had can never be replaced. But the county can cast a net far and wide to draw in the best and the brightest there is to fill these positions.
While it may be easy to fill these vacancies with the nearest warm body or the first person to apply, that would be a huge disservice to the people of this county and the employees themselves.
Those who left did so after years of dedicated service to the public. The county employees and residents deserve people who will take up that call to service and honor the work done by those who came before.