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County uses final meeting of 2019 to award employees

The Troup County Board of Commissioners took time during its final meeting of the year to honor employees for their hard work.

The county named Troup County Probate Court Deputy Clerk Tonga Rutledge the county’s Strongest Link Award recipient on Tuesday. 

The Strongest Link is a monthly award honoring county employees for making their departments and the county stronger through their efforts. 

“The office is always receiving comments in person as well as on Facebook, email, phone calls about her kindness and professionalism,” said Wesleigh Whittle, the administrative assistant for the Troup County Human Resources Department. “She is always willing to step in and complete any task at hand with a smile on her face.”

Rutledge received gifts from local businesses along with her award and the thanks of the commissioners.

“Tonga, I just want to let you know that we truly appreciate your hard work and dedication and loyalty that you have put into Troup County,” Whittle said. “You have proven that you are the strongest link in this chain.”

Whittle said that the county received seven outstanding nominations for the award. The county will award its first ever Platinum Strongest Link Award to an employee in January.

The  Troup County Board of Commissioners also presented fourth quarter employee service awards during the meeting, which was used as an occasion to thank employees for their years of service. 

Troup County Sheriff’s Office Detention Officer Penny Singleton was honored for five years of service. E911 Lead Communications Officer Nina Hardy and Troup County Parks and Recreation Nutrition Supervisor Ricky Johnson were recognized for 10 years of service. TCSO Lt. Nathan Taylor and Troup County Parks and Recreation Parks Maintenance Worker Terrell Elliott were recognized for 15 years of service. TCSO Budget Technician Tasha Hubbard was recognized for 20 years of service. State Court Legal Secretary Bridget Barber and Magistrate Court Clerk of Courts Toya Wilson were honored for 25 years of service.

Finally, Troup County Fire and Rescue Firefighter Kerry Wegienka was recognized for 30 years of service. 

“Kerry began his career as a volunteer at the Hogansville Station with Troup County Fire Department in 1992 after receiving his firefighter certification from the Georgia Fire Academy,” TCFD Chief John Ekaitis said. “He was hired on as a full-time employee with the fire department in October of 1994. Kerry has proudly served the citizens of Troup County since.”

Both the Strongest Link Awards and the Employee Service Awards programs were organized by Whittle, and her role in making the programs possible was also recognized following the awards.

“With the Strongest Link and the Service Award program, you’ve obviously seen a big change in our program,” County Manager Eric Mosley said. “I pretty much just said make it happen, and she did with just amazing success. The employees enjoy it. We enjoy it. It makes for a much more fun experience, and I just wanted to say thank you publicly for all you’ve done.”