Gilbert Street Crews Sweep Up at Annual Rodeo
The Town of Gilbert is taking home trophies after hosting another successful Tom Sheetz Memorial Rodeo for the Maintenance Superintendents Association (MSA). This yearly event brings municipalities together to compete with heavy equipment using the skills they demonstrate at work every day.
Streets employees face challenges like operating a street sweeper on a course without hitting any cones, or placing a sign as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality. They are judged on safety, quality of work and time. Gilbert Streets Manager Curtis Yardley says it’s a day for team building, training, and celebration.
“It’s a day to kind of showcase our events and compete against each other and have fun,” he said, “What they do nobody sees. Street departments are pretty much behind the scenes.”
Employees like Maria Flores, a street sweeper operator, also see it as a learning opportunity.
“It’s very interesting to me to talk to other people from sister cities around here,” she said. “At the end we all operate a sweeper but everybody does it differently.”
The event honors its namesake, Tom Sheetz, a former Gilbert employee who died six years ago. He was instrumental in putting on the rodeo in previous years and worked closely with the MSA.
MSA representatives and other sponsors present awards for each equipment category after the rodeo. This year, Gilbert employees placed in several of the categories and brought home the Crafco Traveling Cup.