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The City Journals

Taylorsville honors outstanding employees, residents at annual awards banquet

May 18, 2017 11:51AM ● By Carl Fauver

Patricia Kimbrough: The Taylorsville Mayor’s Award winner this year is Patricia Kimbrough. (Taylorsville City)

By Carl Fauver | [email protected]

After incorporating in 1996, Taylorsville City began honoring some of its outstanding employees and residents with a special yearly event. This tradition continued earlier this year with the 21st Annual City of Taylorsville Awards Banquet held at Salt Lake Community College.

The city’s council members and administrator presented awards of excellence to the community’s top: volunteer, service provider, fire fighter, police officer, employee and business.

Then Mayor Larry Johnson closed the evening by bestowing his “Mayor’s Award of Excellence.”

These are the 2017 honorees:

Volunteer Award of Excellence

Longtime Taylorsville resident Rulon Swensen is an amateur radio hobbyist. A decade ago, he found a way to incorporate that pastime to better his community by founding a ham radio group. The Taylorsville HAMnet gathers over the air once a week to practice readiness in the event of a community disaster.

 In presenting the award, Taylorsville City Council Chairman Brad Christopherson noted Swensen has coordinated the weekly training sessions on Christmas and other holidays for nearly as long as the club has been around.  

Service Provider Award of Excellence

Stephanie Shelman serves Taylorsville as Deputy City Attorney. Part of her work includes the review of Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) requests.

City Councilwoman Dama Barbour told the banquet audience, “She is hard-working, thorough, organized and detail-oriented. She is also extremely sharp, with a vast understanding of the law and legal issues.”

 Shelman has been with Cowdell & Wooley Law Firm and Taylorsville City for two years.

 Firefighter Award of Excellence

Adam Halsey grew up in Taylorsville and first toured the city’s original Fire Station 117 at the age of 6 or 7. Not long after that he told his mother he wanted to be a firefighter and to drive a fire engine when he grew up.

“The proudest day of my life was when I was sworn in as a firefighter and told to serve at station 117,” He said.  

Taylorsville City Councilwoman Kristie Overson, while presenting the award, said Fire Engineer Halsey is certified as an EMT, swift water technician and wildland fire engine crew boss.

Halsey has been with the Unified Fire Authority, previously Salt Lake County Fire Department, for more than 17 years.

 Police Officer Award of Excellence

Sergeant Mike Ricketts is a veteran Taylorsville police officer of more than 20 years. During that time, he has been involved in countless large-scale law enforcement cases, including homicides and officer-involved shootings.

Taylorsville City Council Vice Chairman Dan Armstrong told the banquet audience Ricketts is also a new sergeant trainer and manager of the precinct bicycle patrol.

Established four years ago, the bike patrol focuses on the Jordan River Parkway, apartment parking lots and neighborhoods. Patrol members also provide service during Taylorsville Dayzz.

 Employee Award of Excellence

Working in the Taylorsville municipal court as a judicial case manager is Employee Award of Excellence honoree Shell Summers. But in announcing her award, City Administrator John Taylor said that is simply Summers’ most recent stop in a city career that began in 1999.

Summers started work for the city through Valley Mental Health and its domestic violence program. Working with probation case managers, counselors and therapists she tracked participants’ progress through the system, providing encouragement while also holding them accountable.  

Summers also spent a portion of her career as the contract prosecutors’ office manager where she coordinated the preparation of more than a hundred cases a day, five days a week.

Appreciation Award for Taylorsville Business

City Councilman Ernest Burgess presented this award to Ross and April Siragusa, owners of Siragusa’s Taste of Italy.

The Siragusas opened their restaurant six years ago and quickly became an important part of the Taylorsville business community.

“(They) are very generous and supportive of the city,” Burgess added. “They also cater and donate to many civic events.

 Mayor’s Award of Excellence

The final honoree was Patricia Kimbrough, who began her career with Taylorsville City as an executive assistant 13 years ago.

While introducing her to the audience, Mayor Larry Johnson called Kimbrough “very organized and caring, always showing concern for others.”

Kimbrough recently retired to spend more time with her family and her passion of ballroom dancing.

“[Patricia] has been a pleasure to work with and will be greatly missed,” Johnson said.