CLAYTON -- Character counts in Clayton.
The City Council did not use those words, but approved Councilman Howard Geller's motion to initiate an "Unsung Heroes" program to highlight exceptional and unrecognized service to the community.
"There are many unsung heroes who do hundreds of hours of volunteer work," Geller observed. "They do it because they love their community."
At the Aug. 19 meeting he reasoned, "We recognize our children and Scouts."
Vice Mayor David Shuey agreed.
Mayor Hank Stratford, who works with the Do the Right Thing program said, "The mechanics gets a little awkward. How do we determine who is chosen?"
Students who "do the right thing" are already honored for demonstrating character traits which the council and local educators hope to instill.
Students from local schools are nominated by their respective faculty and publicly honored at six council meetings annually with a certificate for best exhibiting the trait for the preceding two-month period.
Traits for the balance of 2014 are: August-September, responsibility; October is respect; and the focus is on kindness for November and December.
The Do the Right Thing program has become part of school routines, is posted on a public banner and in the rear window of police cars.
Geller explained that he did not have anything as formal as that in mind.
"We see individuals all the time that are doing extraordinary things for the community."
Geller wanted council members, and anyone in the community, to be able to nominate someone who was not otherwise recognized.
Noticing that a man was quietly cleaning up the area in front of the Clayton Historical Museum on a regular basis, not as part of an organization or as an employee of any kind is a small example why Unsung Hero recognition is needed, Geller said.
Councilwoman Julie Pierce supported that idea, and the concept of honoring people as they are nominated, with no specified time limits or intervals.
After Geller emphasized, "They must be unsung, totally selflessly giving time and effort," there was a unanimous vote in support Geller and Shuey forming an ad hoc subcommittee to determine criteria and details of how the program will be executed.
Contact Dana Guzzetti at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 925-202-9292.