FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield honored two of its most dedicated employees Wednesday evening. Holly Lanese from the Registrars of Voters office and Sgt. Ed Greene of the Fairfield Police Department were chosen as the 2011 Town Employees of the Year.
Fairfield has honored at least one employee each year with the honor since 2004. The Board of Selectmen chose the two to receive this year’s award after a rare tied vote. Lanese and Greene will have their names engraved on a plaque in Sullivan Independence Hall along with the past winners.
Lanese helps the registrars prepare for election season by organizing “kits” for moderators heading to the polls. But her two nominators chose to honor her with the award because her knowledge extends beyond the registrars' office and all over Town Hall.
“It doesn’t matter if the person entering the office is looking to register to vote, change party affiliation, get an absentee ballot, find out where to dock his boat, get a beach sticker, pay a tax, park his car at the train station or get the RTM schedule,” wrote Carlisle Spivey in his letter nominating Lanese. “Holly is there to help.”
Lanese, a lifelong Fairfielder, thought she was attending the Board of Selectmen’s biweekly meeting to speak on an election matter. Instead, she was surprised with the honor. “I love my job,” Lanese said. “But even more than I love my job, I love my town.”
Greene joined the Fairfield police in 1994, after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps during Operation Desert Storm. He is currently one of two detective sergeants tasked with overseeing the investigations bureau. This past year, he helped state prosecutors prepare for the trial of Christopher Dimeo, who was found guilty this summer in the murder of a Fairfield couple.
Greene also heads the town’s Narcotics Unit. In 2011 alone, his group has made more than 20 arrests for drug trafficking and seized more than $100,000 in illegal drugs. “Probably the best testament to their success comes from a dealer himself who confided to an informant, ‘Fairfield is too hot to deal in right now,’” Lt. Michael Gagner wrote in his nomination letter.
Like Lanese, Greene was tricked into attending the awards ceremony. He was told he was responding to a crime at Independence Hall. When he found out about his award, he thanked his co-workers in the department.
“If I’m being honored here today, it’s because I’m blessed to work with some of very dedicated and talented people,” Greene said.
CORRECTION,12/23: This story originally misidentified Lanese's title.