Mike Rivera starts his workday as early as 2 a.m. He’s a street sweeper for the city of Scottsdale and his shift winds down before many residents finish their first cup of coffee.
Robert Brandon is a maintenance technician for the city. He’s on the job at 6 a.m. handling a variety of construction and repair duties -- everything from welding and carpentry to concrete work and excavation.
There are hundreds of city employees like Rivera and Brandon. They work odd hours and long shifts to keep residents safe and our streets and neighborhoods clean.
Those front line public servants got a big “thank you” recently as part of the city’s Hard Hat Breakfast. It’s an effort to recognize the men and women who perform many of the critical, behind-the-scenes tasks that make Scottsdale a national leader in livability.
The breakfast ran from 5:30 to 8:30 a.m. April 5 at the North Corporation Yard, home to the city’s solid waste, street maintenance, vehicle fleet and other services. On the menu were burritos, yogurt and several recipes of homemade posole.
Also on tap was fellowship, gift raffles and a chance to meet others whose duties place them on the job well before dawn.
“The best part of the breakfast was seeing old friends and getting a chance to catch up,” said Rivera. “I have been here for over 20 years; people move on and go to other departments, so it’s great to have an event like this to connect with them again.”
Brandon said he also enjoyed the camaraderie, the food and a chance to win a prize, although he came up empty in the raffles.
“The breakfast was great. I appreciate what some people would call the ‘little things,’ ” he said. “We all know it takes a great effort to put something like the breakfast together.”
Sharing his personal thanks was Scottsdale City Manager Jim Thompson, who joined the city in January.
“The breakfast is a way for the city to show its appreciation to employees who are in the field, on the road or otherwise unable to attend typical functions because of their schedule,” Thompson said. “I really enjoyed the breakfast because it gave me a chance to meet many of our employees who are out there every day providing exceptional service to the Scottsdale community.”
City Council members Kathy Littlefield, Linda Milhaven, Guy Phillips and David Smith also attended.
Leading up to the event, city employees were asked to take and share photos of their colleagues in the workplace. A number of the images – from police officers to heavy equipment operators -- were on display at the breakfast.
The photo wall was a silent testament to the diverse duties, unique skills and professionalism on display every day by city of Scottsdale employees.
See a photo gallery of city employees at work.