Palos Hills officials said goodbye to one of the city’s longest tenured employees last Thursday, but not before sending her out in style at the city council meeting.
On the eve of Water and Sewer Department administrative clerk Nancy Witt’s retirement, Mayor Gerald Bennett presented her with a plaque honoring her 30 years with the city. The council as well as all staff and residents in attendance then gave Witt a long standing ovation.
“When somebody mentions about this administration being a success over the years, I always point immediately to the people who work for the city,” Bennett said. “Nancy is an example of the type of quality people we have working here in Palos Hills. Her dedication over those 30 years is pretty hard to summarize.”
Bennett credited Witt with “modernizing” the department, noting water billing was previously done on ledger cards and is now all computerized.
“It was pretty outdated and archaic,” Bennett said. “Nancy and (former) building commissioner George Lutz stepped in and modernized the entire water billing system. Certainly the changes that have taken place over the years – improving that system and the quality and reliability of it – are second to none around our area.”
Witt also performed clerical duties for the Public Works Department in addition to her work in the Water and Sewer Department. Public Works Commissioner Dave Weakley called it a “pleasure” to work with Witt for the past 22 years.
“I’m going to miss Nancy every day,” Weakley said. “You’ve had my interests in your heart and I truly appreciate it. I‘ve turned to you for guidance and you have definitely provided me plenty of opportunities for guidance. I truly thank you.”
Witt addressed the council to thank them for the kind words and state she has been “fortunate to work with some really wonderful people.”
“From where Palos Hills started when I moved in in about 1976 to where it is today, a lot of the credit needs to be given to Mayor Bennett and all the aldermen that have served, but the progressive thinking of Jerry Bennett has profited the city to be a phenomenal city.
“I’ve been very thankful to work for the city and meet so many wonderful people. It’s been a great 30 years.”
Bennett praised Witt for her “loyalty” and “commitment” through the years. She started with the city on Sept. 4, 1986.
“All good things must come to an end,” Bennett said. “So is true for the marvelous and memorable contributions that you’ve made to the City of Palos Hills.
“You have done a remarkable job. It’s so hard for me to say thank you enough for your service to the city.”
In other news, Ald. A.J. Pasek (3rd Ward) told the council registration is now underway at the Palos Hills Community Center for the second annual hot dog eating contest and inaugural pie eating contest at the city’s Friendship Festival to be held July 7-10 at the Moraine Valley Triangle, 107th Street and 88th Avenue.
The pie eating contest is to take place at 7 p.m. on July 9 and will feature a competition for both children and adults. Youths ages 17 and under will chow down on a five-inch berry pie while adults will take on the eight-inch version. A $50 cash prize will be awarded to the winner of each contest. The cost to enter is $15, Pasek said.
“It’s a no-hands contest,” Pasek said of the rules for the pie eating. “People are going to get a little dirty.”
The hot dog eating contest, which also costs $15 to enter, is slated for 6:15 p.m. on July 10. Competitors will see who can gobble up 10 hot dogs and buns the fastest. The winner will take home $50 while medallions will be presented to second and third place.
Each contest will be limited to 10 competitors. The deadline to register at the Community Center is July 8, Pasek said.
“The hot dog eating contest was a success last year and I think the pie eating contest will be fun,” Pasek said, noting more than 200 people crowded the beer tent to watch last year. “I think it’s going to attract people to the fest.”