Jeff Edwards, Leslie Conaway, & Holly Burns Share

Mar 12, 2020  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

The City of Mar­i­on Trans­porta­tion Depart­ment fre­quent­ly goes above and beyond the nor­mal duties of get­ting pas­sen­gers where they need to go. There have been great sto­ries through­out the years, but one from ear­li­er this year is a heart-warm­ing case and shin­ing moment dur­ing an emer­gency involv­ing many elder­ly and dis­abled citizens…

Trans­porta­tion Direc­tor Jeff Edwards report­ed, On Jan­u­ary 20th, 2020 (Mar­tin Luther King Jr. hol­i­day), I received a call from dis­patch stat­ing the Fire Depart­ment was ask­ing if Trans­porta­tion could help trans­port approx­i­mate­ly 50 res­i­dents from Mar­tin Boots Apart­ments to a near­by hotel. The res­i­dents were evac­u­at­ing the build­ing due to a mal­func­tion with their water sprin­klers which flood­ed half the build­ing, and the entire build­ing lost pow­er. I con­tact­ed Mar­i­on Tran­sit Dri­vers, Leslie Conaway and Hol­ly Burns. Even though it was a hol­i­day, Leslie and Hol­ly did not hes­i­tate to meet me at the bus garage and get two bus­es ready for trans­port of the res­i­dents. We arrived at Mar­tin Boots in about 30 min­utes from my phone call. The res­i­dents were still get­ting belong­ings out of their rooms when we arrived, so we helped them load up the bus­es. We then trans­port­ed them to the Hol­i­day Inn Express, helped them with their belong­ings when their rooms became avail­able, and did not leave until every­one received a room key and was inside the hotel. Leslie and Hol­ly did not think twice about giv­ing up part of their hol­i­day to help peo­ple in need, and I am extreme­ly proud of the way they rep­re­sent­ed Mar­i­on Transportation.”

The Mar­tin Boots Man­ag­er, Rita Perkins, expressed utmost appre­ci­a­tion for the assis­tance dur­ing their time of need. The bus­es arrived in a short amount of time. They were so help­ful with our res­i­dents of whom are all elder­ly and/​or dis­abled. They helped them load and unload their belong­ings in addi­tion to assist­ing indi­vid­u­als using wheel­chairs and walk­ers. Then, when we had to wait for each per­son to check into each hotel room, they were so patient and under­stand­ing. Final­ly, a few days lat­er when it was time for the major­i­ty of the res­i­dents to return home, I called Jeff Edwards, and he imme­di­ate­ly had a bus brought to the hotel to do anoth­er spe­cial trans­port for us. He was very kind and accom­mo­dat­ing. I was tru­ly impressed with how smooth­ly every­thing went con­sid­er­ing it could have been a disaster.”

Dur­ing the State of the City Address on Feb­ru­ary 19th, 2020, Chief of Staff Mike Fly­nn shared the sto­ry and expressed grat­i­tude for the Trans­porta­tion Department’s excep­tion­al efforts. They go far beyond their scope of respon­si­bil­i­ties, and much of it is attrib­uted to the lead­er­ship of Jeff Edwards. They are tru­ly pub­lic servants.”

Pic­tured (Left to Right): Leslie Conaway, Jeff Edwards, Hol­ly Burns