Employee of the Year offers service above usual duties
For Dennis Thompson, being named the city's Employee of the Year wasn't necessary. A job well done for him is just all in another day's work.
"I love my job," he said, speaking of his position with the Public Works Department as construction inspector and engineer technician. "I love to come to work every day."
During the 14th annual City of Lansing Recognition Dinner on Monday, Oct. 22, Thompson was presented with a plaque honoring him as the Employee of the Year.
City Administrator Mike Smith presented Thompson with the award and said Thompson was chosen from four candidates who had each been named Employee of the Quarter.
"He believes in the community, and it shows in his work," Smith said of the reason he ultimately chose Thompson.
He's just a good person to be around, Smith said, and he's always volunteering at city events, making sure they are a success.
Thompson said the award was a surprise and that he felt honored to be recognized. He said the fact that he enjoyed being at work was probably a big reason he got it.
Every day is a little different for Thompson as he goes around expecting city projects. He said recent projects like Main Street, the Bittersweet Street extension and Eisenhower Road have kept him especially busy.
"Lately one thing gets done and two other projects get started," he said.
What keeps him going though, are the people. Being from the small town of Chappell, Neb., he said he likes the feel of Lansing and has been lucky to work with a "nice group of people."
He currently lives in Olathe with his wife of 37 years, Peggy, but he said eventually they would like to move to Lansing. For now, he makes the trip to Lansing daily, as well as when he volunteers at special events like Lansing DAZE or the barbeque contest.
For those events he said he does whatever odd job anyone needs of him. Whether it be parking cars, hauling water and ice or even having to taste-test barbeque samples, Thompson said he just wants to help anyway possible.
"They can try to run me off but I won't go," he joked.
When not at work or volunteering for the city, Thompson said he liked working on his home and doing woodworking, citing the pride he's currently taking in the new fence he recently installed around his yard.
In addition to his wife, Thompson has two grown sons that are now 36 and 33.
He also collects remote control cars and currently owns four cars and a three-foot tank. Thompson turned to car collecting when he got bored of his football and baseball card collection.
"I'm just a kid at heart," he said.