By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager
If you’re a longtime resident of Bryan-College Station and are familiar with local police departments, you might recognize Ronnie Horcica. He’s served in various civilian roles since he graduated from Bryan High School in 1981 and was named the City of College Station’s Employee of the Year in 2009.
What you might not know is that he’s also a radio legend – at least among polka fans.
“I don’t talk about it much, so a lot of people aren’t aware that I’ve also worked in radio for 27 years,” Horcica said. “Both careers are in my blood.”
Late on the night of Oct. 15, Daniel Crites was among the College Station police officers who responded to a call about a person needing medical attention. Arriving ahead of paramedics, the officers found the individual’s condition rapidly deteriorating.
Officer Crites realized the person was having difficulty breathing and discovered that swelling had obstructed the airway. Crites inserted a pharyngeal tube from his department-issued Self Aid Buddy Aid (SABA) kit through the individual’s nose, allowing air into the lungs. The citizen was soon transported to a hospital and was successfully treated.
Paramedics and hospital personnel said Crite’s quick actions saved the person’s life.
Most people take for granted that their trash will be picked up on time, their drinking water will be clean and public facilities will be properly maintained. But College Station’s public works infrastructure, facilities and services wouldn’t be possible without the dedicated professionals, engineers, managers and employees of the Public Works Department.
Efficient and professional public works programs manage our water, sewer, streets, traffic operations, drainage, fleet maintenance, public building maintenance, recycling and solid waste collection. These operations are vital for the safety, health and high quality of life we enjoy in our growing community.
Willie Everline, a route manager in the Sanitation Division, placed second in the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) International Truck Road-E-O on Saturday in Denton.
A city employee for more than 11 years, Willie earned his runner-up trophy in the Roll-Off truck competition, which includes a timed obstacle course that is set up for seven specific scenarios. Drivers have to demonstrate good safety habits and smoothness of operation, and are graded on both while navigating the course.
That’s what one College Station citizen wrote about city employee Daniel Garcia last spring in a letter to the editor of The Eagle. On Tuesday, the sanitation route manager was named one of three equipment operators of the year in the state by the Texas Public Works Association. Garcia has been with the city since 1995.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article originally appeared in the The Eagle on Sunday.
Jan. 11 was my last day as College Station’s city manager, which means the emails have stopped and my once-packed calendar is now clear. After 40 years of public service, this feels pretty good. I’m not quite done yet — I have some other things I’d like to do before begrudgingly accepting the label of “retired.”
I’d like to use this blog to look back at my four very exciting, always challenging, and supremely rewarding years with the City of College Station. As I told my staff during a small reception on my last day, I’ve never worked with a group of professionals — from front-line workers to department heads — more focused on serving the public.