During its regular meeting on Monday, Nov. 9, the Paintsville City Council presented commendations to several public servants. Paintsville Mayor Bill Mike Runyon handed the certificates to professionals working in emergency services, law enforcement and to some who simply volunteered their time to improve the condition of downtown Paintsville.

Runyon began by presenting the council’s first honor to Rick Ratliff, former Paintsville Fire Department chief.

“In recognition of 32 years of service to the City of Paintsville and the Paintsville Fire Department and with the council’s approval, I would like to present this plaque to Rick Ratliff,” Runyon said before being drown out by applause from the room.

Runyon then moved on, presenting a certificate to Danny “Shorty” Roberts, who Runyon said had decided to power wash and clean the Veterans Memorial Bridge which spans Paint Creek as one travels from Broadway Street to Main Street.

“Roberts decided he was going to power wash the Veterans Memorial Bridge. We had a little hold up on that because he got a little bit over-anxious and started washing so well he was taking the grout out of the cracks,” Runyon said, while sharing a laugh with the city council members and Roberts himself. “The state said, ‘if you don’t mind, tell him he’s doing a great job but ask him to stay away from the cracks in the sidewalks,’” Runyon continued. “Shorty, we really appreciate what you did at the Veterans Memorial Bridge.”

The next recognition was given to Shawn Cole, owner and operator of Shawn Cole Photography, who took it upon himself to paint a wall which was cracked and losing paint near the Johnson County Emergency Dispatch and Paintsville/Johnson County Emergency Management building on Euclid Avenue and install a backlit “P” in the style of Paintsville High School in the area, beautifying it.

“If you notice the little indentation down at the 911 building, with the ‘P’ that lights up now, and the painting of that wall,” Runyon said. “(Cole) is responsible for that, so let’s give him a round of applause. Thank you, sir, great job.”

Another recognition was given for a revitalization and beautification project, presented to Brenda Cockerham, Family and Consumer Science Agent at the Johnson County Cooperative Extension Office for her part in gathering volunteers to help paint a mural on the back of the SIPP Theater designed to showcase what Cockerham called “Johnson County Proud,” and was composed by Leslie Heinze based on community submissions from Sarah Zometa and Cadence Whitaker.

“If you’ll notice the back of city hall and the SIPP cinema and the back of (Ed Spencer’s Law Office building), and I think she’s got it in mind to try and keep this project going to try and get about every building in the back of Paint Creek Park with nice murals on it, so it’ll look nice coming across the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge, which Shorty cleaned up,” Runyon said, announcing Cockerham to a round of applause from all in attendance and several remarks from council members on how pleased they were with the murals.

Runyon then recognized Paintsville Fire/EMS for winning The Paintsville Herald’s vote for Best Between the Lakes in the ambulance service category, presenting a certificate to Ed Pack, who received the honor on behalf of the service. Runyon then presented certificates to others for being voted Best Between the Lakes by the citizens of Johnson County. Among those voted to receive the award were the Paintsville Recreation Center for best recreational area, Gary Melvin for best firefighter and Danny Smith for best police officer.  

Runyon finished up the council’s recognition by thanking Russell Lemaster, who retired from the Paintsville City Code Enforcement Board after what Runyon called “many, many years,” before asking attendees to recognize Lemaster with a round of applause.

The Paintsville City Council meets on the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Paintsville Recreation Center. All meetings are open to the public.

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