Nags Head names Ricky Spencer the Earl Murray, Jr., Employee Of the Year

From left, Tax Collector Linda Bittner, Commissioners Renée Cahoon and Mike Siers, Ricky Spencer, Mayor Ben Cahoon, Mayor Pro Tem Susie Walters, Commissioner Webb Fuller, Code Enforcement Officer Ed Snyder, and Deputy Fire Chief Shane Hite. Not pictured is K9 Police Officer JC Mitchell. [submitted photo]

The Nags Head Board of Commissioners have named Sanitation Superintendent Ricky Spencer as the winner of the Town’s 2019 Earl Murray, Jr., Employee of the Year award.

Presented each December, the award, named after Police Sergeant Earl Murray, who died in the line of duty in May 2009, recognizes Town employees who have excelled in attitude towards the public and co-workers, performance, quality of work, willingness to cooperate with others and attendance.

The award recipient, chosen from a list of nominations presented by Town department heads, receives a plaque and a cash reward.

Spencer began his career with Nags Head in October 1990 as an equipment operator, driving trash trucks and “throwing cans” before hydraulic arms took over the job of emptying trash carts.

As Spencer continued to demonstrate excellence in his work, his career progressed steadily, and, in 2009, he was promoted to his current position as sanitation superintendent. Spencer supervises ten employees and oversees the collection of all of Nags Head’s trash and recyclables, the latter of which is a challenge for a community that sees about a 900% increase in population every summer.

“Our Sanitation Division has seen numerous changes over the past few years,” said Public Works Director Ralph Barile. “Ricky has successfully spearheaded all of these changes, including deploying 4,000 recycling carts when we began our town-wide recycling service. Whatever Ricky needs to do to provide our town with the best possible sanitation services, he does gladly and without complaint.”

The other nominees for this year’s Earl Murray, Jr. Employee of the Year award were K9 Police Officer J.C. Mitchell, Tax Collector Linda Bittner, Code Enforcement Officer Ed Snyder and Deputy Fire Chief Shane Hite

“What an outstanding class of nominees,” said Nags Head Mayor Ben Cahoon. “This is always a tough decision for our Board and we carefully consider every nominee. But, each year, one employee’s outstanding performance rises to the occasion and we find a consensus to honor that special person.”

“Sanitation can be like water coming from your tap; it isn’t always evident how critically important the service is until it is interrupted for some reason,” Cahoon said. “Ricky works incredibly hard behind the scenes to ensure Nags Head’s sanitation service runs as smoothly and effectively as possible.”

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