Philly worker saluted for service beyond call of duty

A Philadelphia city employee is the first recipient of a new award for going above and beyond the call of duty.  

Carlton Williams has been recognized for his work with the Richardson Dilworth Award for Distinguished Public Service.

While many may not know Williams directly, Mayor Michael Nutter said the deputy commissioner of the streets department has done a great deal.

“He works with our block captains to keep our streets clean, he implemented weekly recycling and installed those Big Belly solar trash cans throughout the city,” Nutter said. “You know, I love those Big Bellies.”

Williams has organized several community efforts to beautify neighborhoods, including work on the “Philly Spring Cleanup” campaign. Over four years, the campaign has enlisted 48,000 volunteers who have removed 5.8 million pounds of trash from the city’s streets.

Williams, who said he was honored to receive the award, said he loves doing his job.

“I do not take it lightly,” he said. “Public service is something that I chose in a career. I have a desire to just try to find out different ways to make things better.”

The award is named after the late Philadelphia mayor and sponsored by the law firm he founded. It comes with an after-tax check for $5,000.

Williams, who was selected from among 180 nominees, said more work remains.

“We have to change the mindsets of some individuals not to treat our city like a trash can,” said Williams. “Recycling is doing well, but we want to focus on trying to keep our city clean so that people can appreciate how great this city is.”

Joseph Jacovini, chairman of the award’s selection committee, said Williams stood out as an innovative city official who goes above and beyond his official responsibilities.

“Sanitation is something everybody expects and takes for granted, but real people have to do it,” Jacovini said. “Carlton Williams does an ordinary task in an extraordinary way.”

Nutter created the award in November as a way to honor excellent public service employees.

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