The City of Portland hosted the Sumner County Council of Governments Annual Awards Dinner on Sept. 30 at Southern Occasions Event Center.
Sumner County Mayor Anthony Holt, Portland Mayor Mike Callis, and White House City Manager Gerald Herman presented the awards. Elected officials and dignitaries from across the county were in attendance.
Portland Street Supervisor Martin Weekley received the Municipal Public Servant of the Year award. Callis presented the award to Weekley and described him as a dedicated servant to the city.
Portland Public Works Director Carlton Cobb said, “Martin dedicates countless hours to the city of Portland and its residents on a weekly basis. Martin goes over and beyond for the residents and is a true example of being proud and progressive in Portland.”
Portland Alderman Mike Hall was selected as the Municipal Legislator of the Year. Callis said that Hall was worthy of the award, adding that being recognized by your peers across the county was an honor.
Sumner County Emergency Management Agency Director Ken Weidner and Emergency Medical Services Director Greg Miller were recognized as the County Public Servants of the year for their work during the pandemic.
Holt recognized them for, “never wavering or worrying about their own health.” They were acknowledged for saving many lives during the pandemic.
Weidner said there were many people who contributed to helping to keep the pandemic under control and accepted the award for all those involved.
Miller stated that coming from East Tennessee, he had never witnessed a collective group of cities and communities working together so effectively.
The County Legislator of the Year award went to Billy Geminden. Holt recognized him for his work in preserving history in Sumner County and for helping to establish Tennessee Center for Applied Technology of Nashville — Portland Campus.
Geminden acknowledged that was his favorite thing he had done, adding that it was an example of the state, county, city, and school board working together to get it accomplished.
Holt said, “Billy is a man of high integrity. He has done a fantastic job representing the second district. He has committed himself while in office to represent his constituents. One of his interests is making sure the county focuses on vocational education for our students and he has been interested in historical preservation. He is leaving a legacy to our county.”
The Mayor/Administrator/City Manager of the Year award went to Sumner County Mayor Anthony Holt. Herman presented the award and recognized that Holt had served four terms as county mayor and 18 years as a county commissioner.
Herman recognized him for his leadership during the pandemic and for his work getting the new criminal justice center construction underway. Holt has served on a number of boards in the area.
In accepting the award, Holt described it as bitter sweet because he was going to miss serving the county and would miss the many good friends he had made, referring to the fact he has said he does not plan to seek reelection.
“Let me say this, keep doing what you are doing,” Holt said. “Never get discouraged because there will always be naysayers. Do what you know is right in your heart. I can tell you that there are many good men and women who are making a big difference in our county.”
Music before the meeting was provided by Opus P (Portland High School) ~ Director Alex Shrum. The dinner was catered by Southern Occasions Event Center/Taylor Parker.