Bill Weitkemper named first Ed Robb award recipient

Friday, February 17, 2012 | 4:31 p.m. CST; updated 4:49 p.m. CST, Monday, February 20, 2012

Bill Weitkemper will be honored at the Lincoln Day Dinner on Feb. 24 with a social hour at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. An earlier version of this article gave the incorrect time.

COLUMBIA — Bill Weitkemper, Columbia sewer superintendent, will be the first recipient of the Dr. Edward H. Robb Public Service Award.

"Given his personality and interests, Dr. Robb — an economist who insisted public officials take extraordinary care of public money and who could be quite gruff about budgetary shenanigans — would find Mr. Weitkemper an outstanding recipient for this year's first award," Michael and Alison Martin said in their nomination form.

Award presentation

What: Bill Weitkemper, Columbia sewer superintendent, will be presented with the first Dr. Edward H. Robb Public Service Award.

When: Feb. 24 at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner, 5:30 p.m. social hour and 6:30 p.m. dinner*

Where: Courtyard Columbia, 3301 LeMone Industrial Blvd.

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The award was created in honor of the former Boone County Presiding Commissioner, who died in September. Any full-time employee of a public entity within Boone County, including city government, county government, elementary, secondary education and higher education, police departments and fire departments, is eligible for the award.

"I consider it to be an honor to be presented the award," Weitkemper said. "Mr. Robb was very dedicated. He did a lot for the community."

Weitkemper has been working for the city since 1975.

The Boone County Republican Central Committee sponsored the award, and in selecting Weitkemper, selected a fellow Republican. But Mike Zweifel, Boone County Pachyderm Club president, said the award is bipartisan, and there was a Democratic nominee considered.

"It didn't have to be somebody who was a partisan official," Zweifel said. "It's just a way to honor Ed. He was a really good public servant, Mizzou professor and presiding commissioner."

Weitkemper said he was proud and excited for the recognition he's earned through public service.

"At this stage of my life I'm not working for the money," Weitkemper said. "I think I'm making a difference in a lot of people's lives, and that's what it should be about for public employees — public service. The better service you provide, the better job you're doing."

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