The end of the year is always a time for reflection and celebration. Our organization took the opportunity to do both in early December at an annual Employee Appreciation event.

The end of the year is always a time for reflection and celebration. Our organization took the opportunity to do both in early December at an annual Employee Appreciation event.

In addition to recognizing the service of the men and women who celebrated milestones in their service to the community of Upper Arlington, we recognized employees in three award categories: Notable Team Project, Exceptional Customer Service and the Distinguished Service Award.

This year was the first for Notable Team Project and Exceptional Customer Service, designed to better reflect the facets of service employees provide here at the city.

The winners are:

* Notable Team Project: Fleet Maintenance. The Fleet Maintenance team has been together for at least 10 years and works on everything from weed trimmers to fire trucks. They take great pride in their work and are always willing to go above and beyond to produce great results. Of note, this fall they began vehicle and equipment maintenance work for the Norwich Township Fire Department as part of a shared services agreement.

* Exceptional Customer Service: Rick Howard, Electric. Rick was acting superintendent during the June 29 windstorm and also caught an electrical issue at Devon Pool that could have resulted in a serious accident.

* Exceptional Customer Service: Teresa Veit, Community & Economic Development. Teresa's interactions with residents, contractors and staff are a pleasure for all involved. She consistently handles potentially volatile situations with grace and tact and has an outstanding rapport with customers and staff.

* Distinguished Service Award: Tom Lindsey, City Attorney's Office. Tom is always quick to respond to questions, even when given a limited amount of time. His work with the Tree of Life case and the proposed Primrose daycare facility were greatly appreciated by the department and the city. He works well with Jeanine Hummer, city attorney, to provide excellent legal service.

* Distinguished Service Award: Emma Speight, City Manager's Office. As the Community Affairs Director, Emma is always willing to support staff, even when working outside her jurisdiction. There is no doubt that her work was instrumental in informing the public about Issue 24 and the redevelopment and construction on Lane Avenue. She maintains a first-class work product along with a positive attitude.

2012 Community Awards

Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2012 Community Awards, a program that is in its 15th year.

If you know of individuals, a team of residents, civic organization or business that stood out in 2012 for service to the Upper Arlington community, we invite you to nominate them for the following categories: Business, Community Enrichment, Community Safety, Super Senior or Youth.

The deadline is Friday, Jan. 11, with winners to be announced at our 2013 State of the City Address held Monday, Jan. 28. You can find nomination forms online at, at library branches, or by calling my office at 614-583-5040.

2013 Wall of Honor

It's also time for submitting nominations for the 2013 Wall of Honor program, a partnership between the UA Historical Society and the city. The Wall of Honor commemorates deceased Upper Arlington residents who contributed greatly to the city, state or nation in some way in their lifetimes.

The nomination deadline is Friday, Jan. 11. Full details can be found at by calling the Historical Society at 614-470-2610.

Master Plan update

We have the update of the community's Master Plan available for citizen input.

It serves as the principal guiding document for the community and its leaders when addressing long-term goals, growth and development issues.

The Master Plan establishes a framework for making decisions about the city's future and helps set priorities for appropriate investments, expenditures and the provision of municipal services.

The draft documents were presented to Upper Arlington City Council at the Dec. 3 council conference session. Dates for public hearings and council action have yet to be determined, but on our website, along with the documents, you'll find an Action Center form to give us feedback on the draft Master Plan. Any comments we receive will be compiled and presented to council in early 2013.

Theodore J. Staton is Upper Arlington's city manager.