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Pat Liberto honored with Elaine Bisbee Award

Lewes employee praised for friendliness and customer service
March 29, 2018

Pat Liberto arrived at the March 19 Lewes Mayor and City Council meeting thinking she was filling in for Administrative Assistant Alice Erickson. Just minutes into the meeting, however, she was surprised by council as the annual Elaine Bisbee Award recipient.

“I was very surprised,” she said. “I was a nervous wreck because I was worried about doing the minutes and hoped not to goof anything up.”

When Mayor Ted Becker announced she was the winner, her jaw dropped. 

“I wasn’t really expecting it,” she said. “I’m certainly very appreciative.”

The award is handed out each March to a city employee who displays dedication, dependability, reliability and excellent work habits, and who is team-oriented and committed to providing quality service.

Liberto was nominated by Parks and Marina Administrator Alison Kirk. Kirk said Liberto is often the first person visitors meet when calling city hall or doing business in person in the office. 

“She is always pleasant and helpful no matter who is on the other line or at the window, even if the other person is upset and not so nice,” Kirk said. 

Liberto took on extra duties while at the front desk, helping the city’s building officials. She has since accepted the new position of permit coordinator, working with the building official department, but she still assists with helping and training the new front desk person. 

“Pat keeps a wonderful and happy attitude no matter what the situation is, and she is always helpful to colleagues and residents alike,” Kirk said. 

Liberto has worked in city hall since 2013. She has a background in management and finance. She worked in the finance world for about 15 years in the Wilmington area, then moved to Georgia to manage the Sea Island Resort. 

“Then I just wanted to come back home,” she said. “There’s always been a place in my heart for the beaches.” 

She joined the staff at city hall shortly after moving back.

“We have a great group of people here,” she said. “The award was an added benefit. I appreciate the recognition, but even if I hadn’t received it, I still love this place.” 

The award's namesake, Elaine Bisbee, worked with city of Lewes for 35 years, working her way from secretary to city manager, a position she held for 22 years before retiring in March 2006.

Fellow city employees nominate candidates, who are reviewed by City Manager Ann Marie Townshend. The final decision on a recipient is determined by mayor and city council. 

Past award winners include Kenny Morris (2016), Fred Slater (2015), Ricky Melendez (2014, 2011), Carol Richardson (2013), Alice Erickson (2012), Ellen Lorraine McCabe (2010), Lenora Dillinger (2009), Gilbert Holt Jr. (2008), James "Bear" McLean (2007) and Jennifer Murphy (2006).