|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - December 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Gilbert named Onalaska citizen of the year
Polk County Enterprise - December 2008
ONALASKA – City offi cials recognized its notable citizens last week. The Citizen of the Year and Fireman of the Year were honored with a roast during a Christmas party at the Onalaska fi re station. A committee of former recipients of the award presents nominations for Citizen of the Year. Members of the fi re department decide the Fireman of the Year nomination. Police Chief Ron Gilbert, an Polk County native, was named Citizen of the Year. Gilbert may not be as popular among those who walk on the wrong side of the law, but those among the rest of the community have probably seen him at work on a number of community projects. While attending Livingston High School, his nickname was “Mr. Handsome.” He earned distinction as a frequent fl yer after two LifeFlight missions. He is a baseball coach, an active church member and a volunteer fi reman. Gilbert is a citizen who focuses on our community, whether he is at work, involved with sports or holding a benefit for someone in need. According to Mayor Lew Vail, Gilbert wears many hats in the Onalaska community and is well deserving of the honor. Carl Mann was named Fireman of the Year at the event also. Mann and his family may be new to the area, but he has made an important impact in a short time. Generally a more seasoned member is selected, but this year for the first time, a rookie member received the recognition. Mann has assisted with fundraisers, building and engine repairs, medical calls, and clean up along with answering numerous fire calls. According to Chief Newport, Mann is willing and able to help anywhere he is needed and his dedication to this community is how he was nominated this year.