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Town employees 'Caught in the Act'

July 14, 2010
To boost morale and to acknowledge town employees who have gone above and beyond what is required of them, the Town of Gilford now keeps a close eye on good deeds and rewards those who are "Caught in the Act."

Town employees have been taken by surprise recently when a fellow employee or boss "tattles" on their positive tales and warming acts involving children, the elderly, or the community as a whole.

Town Administrator Scott Dunn first conjured up this idea toward the end of last year after receiving similar suggestions from the Safety Committee, which works on morale issues within the town.

Standards are high to report someone who has gone out of their way for others, although over a dozen employees have already been rewarded for their acts of kindness and their devoted work to their particular service.

"We look for someone going above and beyond the call of duty, whether it is a boss or a colleague who saw so-and-so doing something. It's fairly low key," said Dunn.

He said the employees who have been caught doing good are rewarded with a $5 Dunkin' Donuts gift certificate and a write up. Recipients have been pleasantly surprised, he said.

"It is meant to acknowledge those who do good things more than anything. We've had 12 or so people since we started, and the 13th will be announced during the selectmen's meeting (Wednesday)," said Dunn.

The first recipients to ever receive the "Caught in the Act" award on behalf of the town include Tom Aselton of Gilford Fire Rescue and Danielle LaFond of the Town Clerk's office.

The most recent recipients of the award include Gilford Fire Rescue firefighter Nick Proulx and Lieutenant Nick Mercuri, caught by Fire Chief John Beland, and Terry Clairmont of the Department of Public Works, caught by an anonymous group of employees and citizens.

Proulx and Mercuri were acknowledged on June 25 at an employee barbecue for their April 1 act. Both GFR employees were returning from inspection in a fire truck, and happened to drive by a group of children from a local day care center.

Instead of just waving back or tooting their horn at the excitable children, they parked the truck and spoke with the children, giving them messages filled with safety and a coveted tour of the fire engine.

Clairmont of the DPW was also acknowledged during the employee barbecue for his act, which the anonymous nominating group thought went beyond his call of duty.

Clairmont is responsible for the renovation of the antique water pump that now stands as the centerpiece at the Potter Hill Triangle Park. After receiving the historical but dysfunctional hand water pump, Clairmont took his own initiative to find and fabricate needed parts for the pump to make it functional again, and then created a new base and gave the pump a fresh coat of paint.

"People like being recognized when they go above and beyond," Dunn said. "Some people are shocked that they have been noticed."

Martin Lord Osman
Littleton Chmber
Varney Smith
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