Released on February 23, 2017 - 8:22am

It’s been a month since Public Works lost Marcus Colbert.  Nothing prepared us for what happened on January 23rd, the accident, the shock, the mourning, the on-going cycle of grief.  On that day we not only lost Marcus, but we lost our sense of safety.

As we processed what was happening around us, the City and the Citizens kicked in.  This is a letter of thanks to all of you that have been helping us through this.  The Mayor who allowed all of Public Works to attend the funeral, Marty Flemion, City Administrator, LouAnn Crook our Chief of Staff and Mike Greene our Personnel Officer who made sure we had people to talk to the morning after, Michele Saylor our Director of Finance for taking care of all the donations, Pat Haag our Safety Officer who worked with all the different agencies involved in the accident, Director Audrey Barnes , Assistant Director Joyce Jackson,  and the entire  Communications Department team for creating a beautiful slide show, and to Carreen Koubek for broadcasting the funeral live on Facebook, Steve Allen our Emergency Services Director who worked tirelessly to make sure that Marcus had a hero’s tribute, the City Council for their support and to the Chief of Police who personally watched over Marcus and the investigation.

The outpouring of support from the residents, those who just knew Marcus from the smile they received from him while emptying their trash, a wave from the back of the refuse truck, taking a picture with a little boy who loved the big yellow truck, and looking out for the seniors on his route, all of you helped us more than you know.  We are the worker bees, we do the not so glamorous jobs of picking up trash and recycling and street work, but reading the facebook messages, and receiving the cards, the lunches here at Public Works, the phone calls and kind words…we realized that we were not in this alone. The businesses that donated their time and services to help the family and us – First Impressions for performing a miracle so that Public Works could have their armbands, for Donaldson’s Funeral home for working with the family and taking care of all the details, for all the businesses, HOAs and residents that made donations in Marcus’ honor to help the family meant so much to us and to his family.  His father, who has worked in Public Works for over 20 years was so touched with the outpouring of support from the City and residents. And last, but not least to our Director, Rob Ferree, for keeping us going, for being there if someone needed to talk, to cry, to yell.

For keeping us focused on the present and helping us through the day-to-day.  Marcus, we will miss you more than you could ever imagine, you were the smile in all of our days, you were the best at making us feel better and you were the king of the rubber band wars, we miss you and love you – “for real”.

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The Department of Public Works provides refuse and recycling collection, city infrastructure management and maintenance, snow and ice removal, and quick and effective responses to inclement weather damage.