By Michael Pineda
Two of Yukon’s city government officials were recognized for excellence in their profession within the state of Oklahoma.
Yukon City Manager Tammy Kretchmar was presented with the Jeff Shockley Award during the Oklahoma Municipal League Annual Conference in Tulsa Thursday night. City Human Resource Director Cindi Shivers was presented with the Don Rider Transparency in Government Award.
For Kretchmar, it was the second time in less than a week that she was presented with an award.
Monday night, Jason Orr, the president of the City Managers Association of Oklahoma, presented Kretchmar with the Gerald Wilkins City Management Award for Outstanding Municipal Government Service. She was unable to attend the CMAO conference due to COVID earlier this summer. The Jeff Shockley Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to their community.
“Tammy is an outstanding leader, and we are pleased to honor her with OML’s highest honor,” Mike Fina, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Municipal League, said. “Yukon is a community that has engaged citizens and that comes from city leadership involving people in the process. We appreciate all that Tammy does for Yukon and the state of Oklahoma.”
Kretchmar said she was in total shock and felt honored just to be nominated. Friday morning, she said she was still having a hard time believing it. Kretchmar said the award was a tribute to values instilled by her parents.
“That was just the way I was raised, how important hard work was and my integrity,” she said.
Kretchmar’s father, William Kretchmar, made the event all the more special by flying in from Arizona.
“I was totally surprised that he came for it,” she said. “I hadn’t even told him I was getting the Gerald Wilkins Award. For him to share that moment with me was very special.”
The award also signified how far the city of Yukon has come since 2016, when it suffered significant financial issues and mismanagement.
“I think we have done a complete turnaround, from being financially broke,” Kretchmar said. “Our reserves are full and we are in better position to fulfill our mission.”
For Shiver, she was the first ever recipient of the Don Rider Transparency Award. Rider was a leader in creating the Open Records Act and Open Meeting Act.
“We appreciate Cindi’s commitment to transparency and sharing information with not only city employees, but the citizens of Yukon,” said Mark Thomas, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Press Association. “Municipal governments serve the public at the most local levels and all communities should strive to be open and accessible.”
Shivers, like Kretchmar, said she was shocked to receive the award. It was the first municipal government honor she has received, although she would much prefer to stay out of the limelight.
“I am honored and very humbled,” Shivers said. “Like I said last night, I don’t do anything different than anybody else does. I would rather stay behind the scenes and just let it happen. But apparently, somebody was watching.”
On the nomination form, it was started Shivers encourages and promotes citizen understanding of governmental processes and problems. She also understands and fosters the public need to engage in meaningful ways and has a broad and balanced view of government and its services.
“I am not the person who is out there for all the recognition, I like to stay behind the scenes,” Shivers said. “I like for the work to get done and want to make sure it gets done. But I am not a, ‘look at me,’ kind of gal.”
Yukon also had several finalists for other awards. Mayor Shelli Selby was nominated for the 2022 Oklahoma’s Mayors Council of Oklahoma Mayor of the year award. Councilperson Donna Yanda was a nominee for the 2022 Oklahoma’s Women in Municipal Government Woman of the Year award. The Yukon Community Survey and Community Conversations initiative were also finalists for the 2022 Oklahoma Municipal League Innovations Award.