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Monday, March 4, 2019

Resident turns ‘dead end’ into new life

Resident turns ‘dead end’ into new life

Words have significance. To 89-year old Westminster resident Mike Belew, the words on the sign as he turns into his retirement community were ones that ruffled his feathers every time he read them.

“When I turn on Xavier Street to my wife and I’s home in San Marino retirement community, there is a stop sign with another sign attached above it that said ‘Dead End,’” said Belew. “I was talking with my friends in the community over coffee one Saturday morning about how we should change the sign’s wording because we don’t want to be reminded about that every day!”

Belew came to City Hall last year, but wasn’t able to find the right process to get the sign changed. However, Belew kept the idea percolating. When he saw a recent copy of the city’s bi-monthly newspaper, City Edition, he noticed Communication and Outreach Coordinator Jodie Carroll’s name listed as Editor.

“I called Jodie and she was very helpful,” said Belew. “I told her about the sign and asked if she could help get it changed to ‘No Outlet,’ which seemed friendlier.”

Carroll was “tickled” by Belew’s request and wanted to do her best to help him out.

“I think the city is very receptive to its residents’ requests and I knew just who to call,” said Carroll.

Carroll contacted Street Operations Manager Dave Cantu who passed the request along to Public Works & Utilities Foreman Dan Shjandemaar.

“This is the first time a resident called to make a request like this,” said Shjandemaar. “However, we were happy to take care of it.”

The Streets Division already had ‘No Outlet’ signs in stock, so Senior Maintenance Workers Doug Dalrymple and Jason Davis headed out the next day to replace the sign.

“I was amazed that they were able to change it so quickly!” said Belew. “Since I moved here two years ago from New Mexico, I’ve been impressed with how the city’s run overall.”

“Belew called me after the new sign was up and was very thankful and excited,” said Carroll. “He said that he was ‘king of the community’ now and I’m happy I helped make his day.”

The sign change may be a relatively easy job for the city, but it is a great example of the city’s SPIRIT value of teamwork in action.

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