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									                            Inter-City News
                              Proudly serving our citizens

                           A publication of the Customer Service Office                           October 2005
                           Larry Dovalina, City Manager                                           Laredo, Texas

                     Mario A. Gutierrez is October
                       Employee of the Month
    His compassion towards helping                                      In his free time, he reaches out to
the less fortunate and those in need                               the elderly by helping them clean
have earned M ario A. Gutierrez the                                their lots and picking up litter, and
October Employee of the M onth                                     together with a group of youth, he
honors.                                                            removes graffiti around town.
    M ario, a Code Enforcement                                          “M ario is a valuable employee
Insp ect or in t he Community                                      who performs his tasks with zeal and
D evelop m ent D ep art ment , is                                  ent hus ias m,” s aid Roy G arcia,
assigned to the graffiti removal                                   M ario’s s upervisor. “H e is an
division and has been employed with                                exceptional employee who is valued
the City for five years.                                           both as a friend and subordinate.”
    Although his M onday through                                        As an employee, M ario is
Friday job is to enforce codes that                                a ct i v ely i nv ol v ed w it h h is
help ensure Laredoans live in a                                    department’s Operation Clean-Up,
clean, healthy and safe environment,                               Block of the M onth, Keep Texas
                                           Mario Gutierrez
M ario goes the extra mile and                                    Beautiful Campaign and the Youth
volunteers his time during the weekend in helping Development Program.
those who need it most.                                 Congratulations, M ario!

      Skilled employee places 2nd in national rodeo
                                                Working at the landfill has its rewards. Just ask T eofilo Estevis,
                                           Jr., a Solid Waste Department employee who was recognized
                                           nationally for skills that are applied to the trash everyday.
                                                Estevis captured a coveted 2 nd place finish at the National Solid
                                           Waste Association of North America Rodeo Finals held in Hickory,
                                           North Carolina, two weeks ago.
                                                “ I am very happy with second place and honored to have
                                           represented the City of Laredo,” said an excited Estevis. “The
                                           competition was very stiff. I didn’t have an idea I was going to win
                                           second place.”
                                                Estevis competed with a scraper in the Landfill Division, where he
                                           was challenged with several obstacles, including backing up and
                                           maneuvering the oversized vehicle between 55-gallon drums.
Page 2                                            Inter-City News                                           October 2005

      Binational Health Week raises awareness
                                                                 Dr. Jose R. Antu and Veronica Gutierrez, wearing
                                                             blue blouse, both of the Health Department, perform
                                                             blood pressure checks and sign up people for a Buena
                                                             Vida exam, respectively, as part of the Border
                                                             Binational Health Week, held October 10-16.
                                                                 Border Binational Health Week was designed to
                                                             promote health activities and to raise awareness of
                                                             health issues and availability of care and treatment
                                                             along the U.S.-M exico border region. Several
                                                             activities were held during the week to address health
                                                             concerns such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular
                                                             disease, as well as cancer and adult/child

                       It’s All About Customer Service
                   To    cust omers     apologizing is just one element of       customer before beginning the
               who have been            the recovery process.                    resolution and recovery process.
               inconvenienced by            “Whenever there is friction or            “ Cus t omers r es p ond t o
               services that could      conf li ct , t hat ’s t he bes t         common courtesy,” she says.
               not be offered by the    opportunity for you to be a hero or           So next time you are in this
               City of Laredo, the      ’she-ro,” says Leslie Charles,           situation, use phrases such as:
words “I’m sorry” really make a         author of The Customer Service           “Thank you for bringing that to my
difference in the way they view our     Companion.                               attention,” or “Thank you for
organization.                               When dealing with a customer         letting me know.”
    But words alone do not convey       who has a problem or complaint,          (Part of this script derived from The Customer
a sincere apology. Customer             an important first action on your        Community newsletter, published by the
s ervice e xp ert s agree t hat         part should be to thank the              Customer Service Group.)

         Employees go the extra mile in helping those in need
                                      Samaritan: a person who voluntarily offers help or sympathy in times of
                                      And who better to fit this definition than three City employees who recently
                                 went out of their way to help others in need.
                                      We’re talking about Jerry Piña and Jerry Cantu, of Environmental Services, and
                                 Jorge Rodriguez, of the Health Department. Both Piña and Cantu rescued a
                                 pregnant woman from rising waters during a recent downpour. Both were out in the
  Jerry Piña
                                 field identifying streets with flooding problems when they noticed the woman with
                                 two children inside the vehicle. T hey ran to their aid and brought all three to safety.
                                      Rodriguez, on the other hand, offered help to a Hurricane Rita evacuee and her
                 Jorge Rodriguez four legged friends. It turns out that the moment Rodriguez and his mother learned
                                 about the woman, who did not want to seek refuge at a local shelter because no pets
                                 were bein g accepted, they immediately offered her and the two animals their home.
                                 The woman agreed to the offer and stayed at the Rodriguez’s for three days.
  Jerry Cantu
Page 3                                           Inter-City News                                           October 2005

      Make-A-Difference Day activities hailed a great success
                       Las Palmas Trail/Just Penn Park gets a facelift

                                                        Budget Director Martin Ale-
                                                        man, wearing light blue shirt
                                                        with white mask, directs vol-

                                   The Make-A-Difference Day motto —
                Recyling Photo helping neighbors — truly lived up to
                               its expectation Saturday, October 22, as hun-
                               dreds of local residents, including many City em-
                               ployees, teamed up to clean one of Laredo’s best
                               hidden treasures, the Las Palmas Trail/Justo             Deputy City Manager Cynthia
                               Penn Park.                                               Collazo levels the mulch that has
                                    The trail and park, located near the banks of       been laid on the trail.
                               the Rio Grande, immediately east of Interna-
                               tional Bridge #2, extend through a number of
                               micro-ecosystems, including a palm growth, a
                               wetland, carrizzo trails, and other species of na-
                               tive trees.
                                    Sponsored by the City of Laredo Keep
                               Laredo Beautiful, the Lamar Bruni Vergara Envi-
                               ronmental Science Center and the Rio Grande
                               International Study Center, the clean-up attracted
                               428 volunteers -- both young and young-at-heart.
Bridge Employees Sylvia
                                    Immediately after the clean-up, 72,000 lady-        Lynne Nava, Keep Laredo Beautiful
                               bugs and dozens of monarch butterflies were re-          Director, and Blasita Lopez, Public
Martinez and Fidel Martinez,
                               leased on the trail as a reminder that the nurtur-       Information Officer, pose while
Sr., pose for a photo while
                                                                                        di st ri buti ng l adybugs t o t he
working on the trail.          ing of the environment is in our hands.                  volunteers.

                                            Planning Director Keith Selman
                                            and an unidentified volunteer,
                                            left photo, carry a 90-gallon can
                                            full of mulch.

                                             Sandra Martinez, of Solid
                                             Waste, and her husband Josue,
                                             right photo, are about to devour
                                             a fajita place with rice and
Page 4                                           Inter-City News                                     October 2005

 Police officers lend a hand in Louisiana                                      PARD Tournament
                                                                             benefits Katrina victims

                                                                       The recently-held Parks and Recreation
                                                                       Department Softball Tournament netted
                                                                       $1,695.60 for Hurricane Katrina victims. In
                                                                       the photo, Mike Pescador, fourth from left,
Laredo Police officers front row, from left, Luis Raines, Guadalupe    presents a check to Peter Ortegon, of the
Peña, Mario Villarreal, Allen Jarrell Jr., and back row Tomas          American Red Cross. Also in the photo are
Rodriguez traveled to Louisiana immediately after hurricane Katrina    PARD employees Veronica Gaytan, Jose
to deliver supplies and offer police protection. The items delivered   Renteria, Celina Rivera, Graciela Briones,
to the hurricane victims were collected by Police employees through    Angie Perez and Rosalba Hernandez.
various collection drives around town.

Inter-City News is published monthly through the Office of Customer Service. For more
information or for story ideas, feel free to contact Eddie Zavala, Customer Service Coor-
dinator, at 791-7312 or email him at ezavala@ci.laredo.tx.us .

                                          Let’s Talk Trash
    We’re all aware of how much trash we throw out             Always keep in mind that the following items can
during the holidays. And by reducing waste, we can         be recycled: paper, cardboard, plastic containers,
save our natural resources and give a gift to the Earth.   aluminum cans, and tin steel cans.
    Select a gift and give it with waste reduction in          However, never place the following items into
mind! Start by planning ahead what you will do with        your recycling bags: Styrofoam cups and plates, used
all the possible recyclable items that will be left        food wrappers or other used food containers, used
behind from the holidays and how you will dispose of       paper towels, used facial tissues or used disposable
them.                                                      diapers.

                                                       For the second year in a row, Laredo Public Library staff
                                                       members are serving as volunteers for the Help One Student to
                                                       Succeed (HOST S) program with the Laredo Independent
                                                       School District. As mentors, they volunteer their time and
                                                       work with one student throughout the academic school year on
                                                       an individual basis to improve the child’s reading skills.
                                                       In the photo from left are Homero Vazquez-Garcia, Hilary
                                                       Frazier, Anne Seddelmeyer, and Jane Goodman. Not pictured,
                                                       but also volunteering their time are Robert Brown, Rena Ren,
                                                       Felipe A. Sanchez, Eloisa Vedia, Sylvia Gonzalez, Irma
                                                       Gonzalez, Maria G. Soliz, Diana Fullerton.

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