Pleasant Hill Mayor's Message By Tim Flaherty
Apr 03, 2018 07:41PM ● Published by Elena Hutslar
Pleasant Hill’s Finest
All across America during the week of March 19, community leaders rode along with volunteer drivers for Meals on Wheels to deliver nutritious meals and visit with shut-in seniors. I had the honor of doing so in Pleasant Hill on March 20. My driver, May Shih, briefed me on each resident, their interests, and even the names of their pets. The seniors on her route clearly look forward to her visit, sweet smile and caring words. I was honored to help out and meet some wonderful individuals, grateful for the visit and the assistance provided to them. May Shih and the entire team at Meals on Wheels and their Senior Outreach Services are among Pleasant Hill’s finest.
At the 47th annual Community Awards on March 27th, Pleasant Hill honored more of its finest residents, volunteers and businesses with 16 awards. Thirty-one nominees demonstrated the depth of community activism and volunteerism in Pleasant Hill. Here are some of the highlights of the event and award winners:
The 2017 Citizens of the Year honor was bestowed on Allen and Sandy Vinson, who have lived in Pleasant Hill since 1976. They have been key members of the Pleasant Hill Fourth of July Commission for the past 12 years and the Rotary Club for 15 years. Allen is also a member of the planning commission and a much appreciated photographer of community events and local landscapes.
Laima Haider, an AP history teacher at College Park, won Educator of the Year. There were six nominees for this award – all excellent teachers and deserving of the recognition. Ms. Haider is known for her dedication and love of teaching. She inspires her students to think critically and learn about issues on a global level.
Teen of the Year went to Ethan Tuey, a 12th grade student at College Park. Ethan serves as the president of the CPHS Interact Club and captain of the College Park Swim Team. He is a 7th year Pleasant Hill Teen Council member, current chair, and has contributed more than 600 hours volunteering for community events and fundraisers.
Zachary’s Pizza, won Business of the Year. Led by the indomitable Kevin Suto, Zachary’s has become a mainstay eating establishment in our Downtown area. Employee owned and operated, Zachary’s not only makes great pizza, they support many local causes and organizations.
The Mayor’s Award was given to Marian Woodard and John Matthesen of Rodgers Ranch Heritage Center. Marian and John started the urban farm about six years ago, and it has grown into a major teaching center and biodynamic garden where sustainable living classes are held frequently.
The Cornerstone Award, given by the Pleasant Hill Community Foundation, was bestowed on my former colleague on the city council, David Durant. Aside from his service to our city as mayor and councilmember, David has always been a quiet contributor and supporter of the foundation and many other local organizations.
A new award this year was Education Supporter of the Year, which was given to Jeff Eide by Councilmember Sue Noack on behalf of the Foundation for Pleasant Hill Education (FPHE). Jeff is a longtime parent volunteer in Pleasant Hill schools and current president of the College Park Athletic Boosters
Last but not least, I want to recognize Eric Hu, the city’s senior civil engineer, who was the recipient of the Community Plus Award, which goes to an employee of either the city or the Rec & Park District. Eric oversees many of the city’s capital improvement projects and has brought in over $30 million in grant funding for these projects over the past 11 years.
For a complete listing of nominees and winners, please visit www.pleasanthillca.org/awards.