2016 Excellence Awards Recipients

Dell Matt, Safety Advocate

In a room packed with onlookers, Prunedale resident Dell Matt received special recognition and a standing ovation from the Board and audience members. For more than 30 years, Dell has been the “voice of the community,” advocating for safety improvements, particularly those on the Highway 101 corridor through Prunedale. Her proactive role in attending TAMC Board meetings and advocating on behalf of the community has greatly improved transportation in Monterey County, most notably the landmark $225 million Prunedale Improvement Project which  makes Highway 101 much safer, reduces traffic congestion and improves access to local businesses and residents.  Dell received this special recognition from the Board as she “retires” from her public advocacy.

 

Shawn Atkins, Maintenance Manager, Monterey County Resource Agency, Public Works and Road Facilities

Shawn Atkins, the Maintenance Manager for the Monterey County Resource Agency, Public Works and Roads Facilities, was honored for his compassion response to the community and his leadership in creating the first “Sea Otter Crossing” on Moss Landing Road. After a tragic accident in which a vehicle struck and killed a sea otter crossing Moss Landing Road to reach Elkhorn Slough, Shawn led the collaboration between residents and agencies to design a sea otter crossing in the harbor, including signs, fencing, new road pavement and one of Monterey County’s first speed tables. Due to these improvements, traffic on Moss Landing Road is slowed, and safety is improved for drivers, pedestrians and sea otters.

 

Enrique Saavedra, Acting Chief of Public Works and Facilities, County of Monterey, Resource Management Agency, Public Works and Facilities Department

Enrique Saavedra, Acting Chief of Public Works and Facilities, County of Monterey, Resource Management Agency, Public Works and Facilities Department was honored  for his services going “above and beyond” his normal duties, in overseeing the response, repair work and activities associated with the Soberanes fire and the 2016 winter storms.

 

MacGregor “Goya” Eddy, Columnist, Salinas Californian

The Agency recognized MacGregor “Goya” Eddy for her weekly “We Could Car Less” column in the Salinas California dedicated to transportation mobility, safety and advocacy for transportation for all ages and abilities.

 

Jim Johnson, Reporter, Monterey Herald

Jim Johnson received honors for his journalistic skills as a staff reporter for the Monterey County Herald who reports on government issues. Jim’s in-depth reporting, particularly those about the Transportation Safety & Investment Plan, and its evolution as Measure X, were through, balanced and a service in informing the public about transportation issues in Monterey County.

The Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau received recognition for their transportation information campaign for Car Week 2016 in coordination with the Soberanes Firefighting public outreach efforts. Their campaign included the creation of user-friendly materials and website, coordinating with the firefighting team on Car Week logistics, media press releases and press conferences. As a result, there    was increased coordination between the event organizers and the firefighting team; increased public awareness about event activities and firefighting traffic. The public outreach strategies developed for Car Week 2016 were so successful that the strategies will be used for future major events on the Monterey Peninsula.

 

“Keep Monterey County Moving”

The group of community leaders who volunteered their services to “Keep Monterey County Moving by helping the Agency develop the Transportation Safety & Investment Plan was honored. As a result of their work, the Plan will now be funded through Measure X which received the required 2/3rd voter approval making Monterey County a “self-help” county with a dedicated local source of funding for transportation safety and mobility projects.

 

Projects

Two projects received honors during the ceremony. The first was the Highway 68 PG Corridor Study, that looked at ways to improve Forest Avenue and Sunset Drive. As a result of this needs assessment study, which included extensive public outreach and participation, the City of Pacific Grove and Caltrans now have a document which proposes location-specific design concepts and other recommendations. These recommendations include ways to create a more “complete” corridor that improves safety and serves the needs of pedestrians, bicyclist, drivers and people of all ages and abilities along this busy highway within the city limits.

 

The second was the SR 1/Cow Cliffs Viaduct Project, for improving safety and mobility along Highway 1 by repairing a 100-foot long section of Highway 1, located 1/10th of a mile north of the historic Big Creek Bridge. Overcoming challenges that included the harsh conditions, rough terrain and an aggressive construction schedule to minimize the impacts to the traveling public, this project restored and stabilized the highway, allowing traffic to flow freely and safely this this section of the national scenic highway.

 

Rita Goel, 10 Years of Service

Rita Goel is recognized for 10 years of dedicated service and congratulated for reaching this significant milestone in her career with the Transportation Agency for Monterey County.  Her effort and dedication plays a tremendous part in the success of the Agency.

Mike Zeller, 10 Years of Service

Mike Zeller is recognized for 10 years of dedicated service and congratulated for reaching this significant milestone in his career with the Transportation Agency for Monterey County.  His effort and dedication plays a tremendous part in the success of the Agency.

Dave Delfino, 15 Years of Service

Dave Delfino is recognized for 15 years of dedicated service and congratulated for reaching this significant milestone in his career with the Transportation Agency for Monterey County.  His effort and dedication plays a tremendous part in the success of the Agency.

Christina Watson, 15 Years of Service

Christina Watson is recognized for 15 years of dedicated service and congratulated for reaching this significant milestone in her career with the Transportation Agency for Monterey County.  Her effort and dedication plays a tremendous part in the success of the Agency.

Debbie Hale, 15 Years of Service

Debbie Hale is recognized for 15 years of dedicated service and congratulated for reaching this significant milestone in her career with the Transportation Agency for Monterey County.  Her effort and dedication plays a tremendous part in the success of the Agency.

Theresa Wright is the Transportation Agency for Monterey County Transportation Excellence Awards Program contact person. If you have any questions, you can reach her at (831) 775-0903, or via email at: theresa@tamcmonterey.org