Stephen Morton, who provides a vital service for residents of Muskogee on a daily basis throughout the year, was awarded on Thursday the 2019 Roy Tucker Award of Excellence.
While there are many public servants on the payroll at Muskogee City Hall, we agree there are few who could be considered more deserving this year than the water treatment plant superintendent. Being responsible for providing safe drinking water to tens of thousands of residents on a daily basis is demanding in and of itself, but when the facility treating that water is being battered by more than 600,000 cfs of contaminated Arkansas River water for days on end succeeding becomes an even more valiant effort.
As the Arkansas River rose to near-historic levels in May, inundating the Port of Muskogee and many of the industries adjacent to the water treatment plant, Morton staked out his position at the facility. Overseeing and helping build emergency berms around the plant, Morton and his crew were able to protect vital pieces of equipment needed to treat the city's water supply.
Morton stayed on site, which was accessible only by boat, for six days. He refused to leave. Even when it was evident the threat had passed, Morton passed up an opportunity to leave and allowed his second-in-command to take the first opportunity for respite.
This is an example of leadership. Morton stands as a model of civil servant — that was most apparent when he credited his crew while accepting an award that exemplifies excellence at City Hall.
Muskogee is proud and owes you a debt of gratitude. Congratulations!