Meet Ottawa County’s most recent customer service award winner

Join us in congratulating Greg Rappleye from Corporation Counsel, who has been recognized as Ottawa County’s Outstanding Customer Service Award recipient for the first quarter of 2016. “If time doesn’t fly, it certainly hustles along.” said Greg who has been an employee for 25 years. He began is tenure in 1991 in the Ottawa County Prosecutors Office, doing the County’s civil work under the direction of Prosecutor Ronald J. Frantz. Later, Rappleye’s duties evolved into the Office of Corporation Counsel, which serves under the direction of the County Administrator.

The individual who nominated Greg wrote: I came in the main entrance at the Fillmore building and found Greg assisting an elderly woman who needed to go to the treasurer’s office. She was walking with a walker and Greg had her sit on the walker and pushed her down the hall and then down the elevator to the treasurer’s office. She finished her business at the treasurer’s office and he assisted her in the same way back to her car in the parking lot and made sure she was back in her car. He showed what customer service at Ottawa County is all about.

In order to better get to know Greg, we asked him the following questions:

The thing I like most about working for Ottawa County is:

I like my fellow employees, and the variety of work they bring to me on a daily basis.  In the course of my work, I’ve had the opportunity to consider everything from the daily price of exotic birds in the wholesale farm market to the constitutionality of legislatively imposed restrictions on political speech. I can’t think of another attorney whose practice is so varied.

The hardest thing I have ever done:

Oh, my! Too much heartbreak and bathos to get into that here.  For the truly curious, I could recommend a couple books of poems.

You would be surprised to learn that:

You might be surprised to learn that I am a writer. I have a Masters in Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing, was a Bread Loaf Fellow, and have published three full-length collections of poetry, three chapbooks, and have another full-length collection in search of a publisher.  My poems and essays have appeared in many places, both online and in print.   I’m currently  working on a manuscript of poems about my Irish family, who came to America in the 1850’s and worked in the cotton mills of Biddeford, Maine.  I am also reworking the draft of a first novel, set in Guatemala during the 1954 revolution.

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would you pick and why?

At the moment, I’d like to have dinner with Frank O’Connor (1903-1966), who wrote so well in his short stories about Irish family life.  I’d love to kick back with Frank on a rainy night in West Sligo and compare notes.

If you had to spend all of your vacations for the rest of your life in the same place, where would you go and why?

The requirements are good seafood, good bookstores, a lonely windswept beach and a quiet place to work.  Let’s say the Northwest corner of Oregon, off-season, from Portland to the Coast.

If you could travel back in time to any certain era or event, when/where would you pick and why?

I’d go back to the evening of January 30, 1962, at the Michigan State Fair Coliseum, just in time to stop the Flying Wallendas from attempting “The Great Pyramid” without a net, before a crowd of 7,000 curious circus-goers, thirty-five feet above the Coliseum floor. Why? No one needs to live half a century onward with that rolling around in their head.

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