August 13th, 2013

Giving Props to a Public Employee

Employee Focus, by Tania Mashburn.

“You can sleep when you die.”Valentino "Bobo" Martinez

That’s the motto Valentino Martinez lives by… but most of us know him as “Bobo.” He’s the shed supervisor at maintenance station 1427 in Centerville. This week, Bobo was notified that he was chosen to receive the Utah Public Employee Salute. The honor is reserved for any city, county, or state government employee who goes above and beyond to help the public.

What’s really impressive is that this is the second time Bobo has received this award. As you can see from his picture, he’s kind of a big deal.

“He is really motivated to go and make sure things are done and things are done well,” says Vic Saunders, Region 1 Communications Manager. “He’s willing to be of service in a time when so many people are concerned about themselves. To see someone who is really service oriented is such a great thing.”

Bobo and his crew have a tremendous amount of responsibility to keep I-15 in Davis County and Legacy Parkway in good condition. When we’re all home in our beds asleep, Bobo and his crew are out there working. Bobo says they do 90% of their work (which includes sweeping, plowing, and road repairs) at night so they don’t impact drivers.

So when do they sleep? That’s where his motto comes in.

When I asked Bobo how he felt about being chosen for the award, he said simply “I feel good. I feel the job I’m doing is making everybody in the public happy.”

Bobo admits he couldn’t be the supervisor he is without his fantastic crew. Whether it’s clearing the roads after a major snow storm, or jumping right in to clean up after a major wind storm, his crew is always up for the challenge. In fact, he says any one of them could have been chosen for the award.

“He knows the area like the back of his hand and he takes care of it like it’s his own,” said Region 1 Director Kris Peterson. “He’s got a large, diverse crew and they work hard together towards reaching the department’s goals.”

As part of his winnings, Bobo will become famous. On Wednesday, August 14, KSL’s Doug Wright will announce him as this week’s honoree. Here’s how it will go:

Now it’s time for the Public Employee Salute sponsored by Mountain America Credit Union and the Utah Public Employee’s Association. This week’s honoree is Valentino “Bobo” Martinez.

Bobo is a supervisor for the Utah Department of Transportation Region 1. Bobo and his crew are responsible for keeping I-15 and Legacy Parkway open for commuters to and from Salt Lake City in all kinds of traffic and weather conditions. This means Bobo and his crew conduct projects in the middle of the night so not to interfere with the 170,000 vehicles a day that travel those stretches of road. Bobo is called out at all hours of the night to assist the Utah Highway Patrol in traffic incident management and clean-up.

Thank you, Bobo, for your service to the citizens of Utah. Bobo will receive two Hale Centre Theatre tickets and will be honored at the semi-annual Public Employee Salute Luncheon.

Bobo says he hopes he can take his wife to a show at the Hale Centre Theatre to celebrate…but he’ll likely be out hunting.

Next time you see Bobo, tell him congratulations on his big award (and give him a hard time about his picture).

If you would like to nominate a public employee who has gone above and beyond, you can nominate them for the Public Employee Salute by going to upea.net.

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