Annual City Breakfast recognizes municipal employees

Published 2:03 pm Thursday, December 21, 2023

At 7:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, many might still have been groggy as the sun began to rise.

However, inside City Hall at 32 Wall Street, others were wide awake in a celebratory environment recently.

The annual City Breakfast took place, with local officials and workers from several city departments present to eat and drink and offer praise and more.

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“This time of year, we gather together, and it’s good to definitely do that,” said Winchester City Manager Mike Flynn, addressing the audience. “From the bottom of my heart, I look around at each and every table in here, and you all have been supportive.”

Several notable city employees were present for the occasion, including Mayor JoEllen Reed, all four City Commissioners – Kenny Book, Shannon Cox, Kitty Strode, and Hannah Toole, Winchester First Director Cameron Correll, Chief James Hall of the Winchester Police Department, Chief Chris Whiteley of the Winchester Fire Department, Finance Director Alicia Mayabb, and Planning and Community Development Director Robert Jeffries.

Early on, attendees were welcomed to a delicious meal.

Julie Staton, the owner of Pilot View Market and The View at Southwind, provided the catering service.

“We have bacon and sausage, scrambled eggs, hash browns, biscuits and gravy, fruits, homemade muffins, and cinnamon rolls,” Staton said. “I love preparing for all the city employees and making sure they have a good breakfast to get the holiday season started.”

Reed also spent time speaking at the podium.

Reflecting on her first year as the mayor, she expressed gratitude for what city employees had done.

“You all have been there,” Reed said. “I know I can pick the phone up any time, day or night, and you all are on the other end. That means [a lot] to me.”

Before long, many of the employees present were rewarded for their lengths of service.

Individuals celebrating five years of service, which included a dispatcher, a city hall employee, a trio of firefighters and four police officers, received mugs and other gifts.

Ten and fifteen-year employees, all consisting of members of the Winchester Police Department, were honored as well.

Certainly not least, Teresa Henry – currently a purchasing officer at Winchester City Hall – celebrated 25 years of working with the city.

“It’s been a great experience, and it’s a really, really good place to work,” Henry said. “I’m blessed to be a part of not just a team but a family as well. Everybody here seems to have everybody’s back.”

Looking ahead, Reed offered a few final words of encouragement.

“You’re important to us. Don’t ever forget that,” she said. “We’re all able to talk and help you do whatever we need to do.”