The city of Jonesville has opened nom­i­na­tions for the ninth annual 2016 Citizen of the Year award. The awards — given to one adult and one youth — honor cit­izens who exhibit notable cit­i­zenship and out­standing service in the Jonesville com­munity.

Jonesville City Manager Jeff Gray said that nom­inees are eval­uated based on cri­teria like com­munity involvement, impact of activ­ities on com­munity, lead­ership, vol­un­teerism, con­tri­bu­tions of time, mate­rials, property, or ideas, and rep­u­ta­tions.

“We are just looking for those people who go above and beyond, who maybe don’t get recog­nition for that,” Gray said. “There are a lot of people who work behind the scenes to do important things that keep this town moving forward, and we want to rec­ognize those efforts and con­tri­bu­tions.”

The nom­i­nation form, found on the city website, is open to the public. The cit­i­zenship award com­mittee, estab­lished by the City Council, will review the appli­ca­tions sent by the public and make a rec­om­men­dation to the council. Gray said it is important to rec­ognize the younger Jonesville cit­izens as well.

“It’s very important to us to rec­ognize not only the adults, but also the youth in our schools that are con­tributing and being good role models of cit­i­zenship for others to follow,” he said.

Past recip­ients have included Ron Boyle, who is involved in theater for youth, Jim Marks, who was a Village and city council member, and Wayne Babcock, owner of Olivia’s Chop House and Saucy Dog’s Bar­beque.

Ron Hayes, council member and chair of the Cit­i­zenship Com­mittee, started the award nine years ago and has been a part of the award process since its inception. He said that the thought occurred to him to honor cit­izens based on vol­un­teerism, and he pro­posed the idea to the city council.

“Over the years I have felt that one of the best ways to motivate people is to commend them for things they do well,” Hayes said. “It seemed to me that by giving awards to people — some kind of recog­nition — you are setting up what these people have done and how important it is. We hope it sets an example for others.”

Hayes said the number of nom­i­na­tions received each year varies greatly. Nom­i­na­tions and awards can also be posthumus, because of the out­standing service of cit­izens both living and deceased.

“Because of the history of our city, we probably will never run out of nom­i­na­tions,” he said. “There are plenty of people living and not living who should be honored.”

Recip­ients will receive both a trophy and a plaque in City Hall. Nom­i­na­tions can be turned in to the City Hall until March 1, and awardees will be honored at a reception in April.

“We’ve had people who invest a lot of time and effort and never seem to give up,” Hayes said. “They just keep wanting to serve. We treat service as one of the highest qual­ities of humans.”

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Emma Vinton
A senior and English major from Brighton, Michigan, this is Emma’s second year as assistant editor of the Features page for the Collegian. She has interned as a writer and editor at Faith Magazine in Lansing and at Family Research Council in Washington D.C. doing research on marriage and family issues. She enjoys writing about culture, literature, and religion. This is her sixth semester contributing to the Collegian.