The people who make Wayne County run

By LINDA DROLLINGER
Posted 8/24/21

HONESDALE, PA – In the space of an hour, Wayne County Commissioners heard first-person witness at their August 19 meeting from people at all stages of their work lives, describing how service …

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The people who make Wayne County run

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HONESDALE, PA – In the space of an hour, Wayne County Commissioners heard first-person witness at their August 19 meeting from people at all stages of their work lives, describing how service to the public is a job they love doing. Three career county employees were recognized for five years of service: Pasqualina (Lily) Briggs; Delores Martin; and Matthew Robison.

Of the three, two asked to be excused from the remainder of the meeting, so that they could return to the jobs they perform with skill and devotion. The third, Robison, skipped the meeting altogether because it took place during his scheduled work shift in the department of corrections.

Briggs is assigned to the probation department, where she has the task of collecting fines, court fees and reparation expenses from those found guilty of wrongdoing by the court system. Although it might be natural to assume that those making payments resent their obligation and the financial burden it imposes, Briggs tells a different story. She has collected, in addition to monies owed, many letters of gratitude from those making payment. She says, “People appreciate those who help them make amends for their mistakes, and they see me as someone who does that.” She added, “That’s very satisfying for me. The only regret I have with regard to my job is that I didn’t come to it sooner.”

Martin drives a van for the county’s transportation department. She works the early shift. “How early does that start?” asked a commissioner.

“Depends,” said Martin. “Sometimes 3 a.m., sometimes earlier, sometimes as late as 5 a.m.”

Her boss said, “This week, we got a call from someone who’d been driving behind Delores’ van. Those calls are usually complaints, but not this one. The person praised her professional driving—that’s the word the person used—professional.”

As for Martin, all she had to say was, “People need good service. They deserve it. And they should get it. I’m glad I can provide it.”

Dressed in professional work attire, three young adults listened as their work during summer internships was publicly celebrated. So good was their performance that they have been invited to remain in the departments they served. All were part of Wayne Tomorrow! (see https://waynetomorrow.com), an initiative begun by the Wayne Commissioners nine years ago as a means of introducing high school students into the county work force.

Kaily Gallipani (10th grade), Angela Grosspietsch (10th grade) and Andrew Baker (ninth grade), all students at Wayne Highlands High School, served in various county venues, including at the Wayne County Historical Society and as part of the Dairy Plant Feasibility Study. Intended to be of mutual benefit to the county and the participants, Wayne Tomorrow! aims to drive change, innovation, and job creation, as evidenced by its leadership role in the county’s new agriculture initiative.

Planning consultant Tom Shepstone, who has shepherded the Dairy Plant Feasibility Study, expressed admiration for his Wayne Tomorrow! assistants. As he reported to the commissioners, the Dairy Plant Feasibility Study, an outgrowth of the Wayne Highlands High School agriculture club, indicates that Wayne County’s proximity to New York City, its centuries-old dairy farming history, and the existence of at least two going dairy businesses—the Calkins Creamery and Creamworks Creamery—make it an ideal candidate for a dairy plant, to be leased by the county to an experienced operator.

“We’ll place an advertisement in ‘Cheese Reporter,’ a weekly industry newsletter, requesting proposals by October 8,” said Shepstone, noting that, “This is a great opportunity to reinvent agriculture in Wayne County.”

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