Retiring Bonilla, Bolanos presented City Tiles for decades of service

July 17, 2009
Santa Paula City Council

City tiles were presented at the June 29 City Council meeting to two employees who are retiring after long years of service.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesCity tiles were presented at the June 29 City Council meeting to two employees who are retiring after long years of service. City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said the employees Trini Bonilla and Becky Bolanos, represented decades of dedication to the community.Bonilla was hired by the city in 1971, and Bobkiewicz - like with the others receiving the official city farewell - noted what had occurred on the exact day Bonilla started. “Trini worked in a variety of capacities” over the years, starting as gardener/caretaker and maintenance worker.“He worked four long years as the interim building and grounds supervisor,” a time, Bobkiewicz said, “I really got to know Trini... if you like what Santa Paula looks like you have to thank Trini, who had a very, very difficult job” at times when the budget was tight. Nevertheless, noted Bobkiewicz, even the direst circumstances never kept Bonilla “from doing his job.”“I just want to say thank you,” said Bonilla, who emotionally noted he spent a “lot of years” serving the city, and “I want to thank you” for the opportunity.
Becky Bolanos was hired in 1972 as an accounting clerk in the Finance Department, and over the years “had a variety of different roles until 1984,” when Bobkiewicz said there came a “big change in the city when the city got computers. At that point it was a whole new ballgame, and it was finally decided that the city was to start worrying about computers, and it was to Becky” to be the technology maven.She was the city’s official computer operator until 2004, when she was promoted to information technical supervisor, and “In addition to that,” Bobkiewicz said Bolanos - named the Deputy City Treasurer in 1985 - “still holds the title. Anyone that knows the history of Santa Paula knows there was a new finance director every six weeks or so,” and Bolanos also often acted as the interim department leader.“Becky has had an extraordinary career,” more than 36 years of service where she proved to be “a unique individual you could count on to do anything... she’s part of the glue that holds us together and the loss of Becky is one I don’t think the city will recover from.... She has,” noted Bobkiewicz, “been a part of the fabric of the city, and when some people say they can be replaced... Becky can’t.”Councilman Bob Gonzales, the former police chief, said he and Becky worked together for many years and “it’s been a pleasure.”Co-workers, said Bolanos, have “very much been like a second family to me,” and she noted when she started the job it was supposed to be part-time. Of her retirement Bolanos noted, “First thing, I’m going to go to Disneyland!”

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