The International City/County Management Association has selected City of Sierra Vista Refuse Driver Chuy Estrada as one of 10 Community Heroes from a pool of nominees working in local governments across the country.
For the people who have worked with Estrada over his nearly 33-year career with the City, the recognition isn’t surprising.
“That’s just Chuy,” Refuse Supervisor Darrin Stensby says. “What else do you say about someone who has made being extraordinary part of their daily routine for over three decades?”
Estrada actually mentored Stensby in his early days with the City back in 1991. Even then, Estrada was always doing more than he was asked to do. Whether it was trimming overgrown alleyways, taking extra time to walk customers through changes in their service, or keeping his equipment in immaculate condition, Estrada has always managed to do more than most.
“A lot of it boils down to his work ethic,” Stensby says. “When a driver is sick or some extra duties need to be picked up, Estrada can always be counted on to get it done, plus take care of his own route.”
Estrada drove the City’s first automated refuse truck back in 1999, piloting a program that some residents were initially hesitant to adopt. He acted as the City’s front line ambassador for the program and was always willing to talk to people about how it worked. Soon other residents started calling in requesting the same service.
“I’m just happy to have enjoyed such a long and rewarding career that lets me help people and get out in the community every day,” Estrada says. “That’s the best part of my job, getting to interact with the public, especially the kids who love seeing the truck drive through their neighborhood each week.”
“Chuy is a great reflection of the many dedicated local government employees the City of Sierra Vista is fortunate to employ, people who work every day to make the lives of our residents better,” Assistant City Manager Mary Jacobs says. “We are thrilled to see this significant recognition for him and we congratulate Chuy on a remarkable career of service to our community.”
About ICMA’s “Community Heroes”
ICMA launched its Community Heroes recognition program with support of ICMA-RC last year.
It aims to highlight staff members who work to with professional city, town, and county managers to improve the quality of life in ICMA communities.
The 10 honorees will be profiled with a video story and featured as part of ICMA’s outreach initiatives honoring those who dedicate their lives to public service. The heroes will be featured on the Life, Well Run website, at lifewellrun.org/community-heroes/, in the coming months.