Olive Branch’s Board of Aldermen and Mayor Ken Adams honored city employees at Tuesday night’s board meeting for going above and beyond their duties at work for the city.
Officer Dalton Todd of the Olive Branch Police Department received the award for August and Accounts Payable Clerk Polly Massie received the September award.
“I want to reward stellar performance and at the same time communicate to other employees what that looks like so they will emulate the same thing,” Adams said.
Monetary awards, while common in the corporate environment, are not typically awarded in government, Adams said. The board can’t legally give away the tax dollars that they manage so Adams communicated with the attorney general and State Ethics Commission to figure out a way to make the Mayor’s Award possible.
The first two recipients were each given $200 that was funded by private businesses. The board will continue to recognize city employees on a monthly basis.
Adams explained that every city department will nominate someone for the award each month, and then the award will be chosen from those submissions.
Officer Todd was honored because of his actions on duty Aug. 7. While on the way to another call, he was flagged down and found a man with a broken leg who was bleeding severely from his head.
After checking for a pulse, Todd immediately began CPR and continued until EMS arrived.
“Officer Todd’s selfless and decisive actions represent the best of the profession and demonstrate his willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty in an effort to protect and sustain the life of our citizens.”
The victim did not survive, but Adams said that there was no doubt that Todd was deserving of recognition.
Todd said he felt honored to receive the Mayor’s Award, but he wishes it was under better circumstances.
Massie was selected for helping a citizen who needed a replacement check from the city after realizing the original one had expired before it was used.
When the citizen arrived at city hall, Massie had already secured a new check and had it waiting. Adams said that although it may not sound impressive, it usually takes much more time to get a check cut. He added that the citizen was going through financial troubles and was in tears after Massie’s help.
Also discussed at the meeting was the updating of fees to use park facilities and the Mid-South Interstate Compact Agency.
“There have been no fee changes in the structure in 20 years for our youth sports programs,” Adams said. “Our fees will still be lower than any other city in DeSoto County.”
One alderman added that the parks and recreation department has done an excellent job even with less revenue than other cities.
The board voted to pay up to $10,000 towards consulting to get the Mid-South Interstate Compact Agency started. The consulting will cost $150,000 all together, split between cities in DeSoto County, Shelby County and Crittenden County.
The fee could be as low as $6,200 if all cities in the county agree to contribute.
“We’ve had representation from Southaven, Olive Branch and Hernando at the last three meetings that took place in Memphis on this particular item,” Adams explained.
Adams added that Memphis has agreed to pay half of the fee. DeSoto County will be responsible for $27,000, with the contribution from each city based on their populations.
The compact will help ease transportation challenges in DeSoto County that have arisen as a result of the area's growth.