Former Eureka City Councilman Lance Madsen is being honored by Mayor Frank Jager as the first recipient of a new award called the Mayor's Community Award of Merit.
"Lance has given most of his life to this community," Jager said. "I can think of nobody right now that is more deserving, especially since Lance's health is deteriorating quite a bit and he's served us so well."
The annual award will be given to a Eureka resident who does outstanding work for the city, either over a lifetime or for a single project, Jager announced during last week's city council meeting. A plaque will be displayed in the lobby with a photo of the selected recipient.
"I think it is so fitting," Councilwoman Melinda Ciarabellini said. "I can't think of anyone else that has contributed so much of his life to public service as Lance to the city of Eureka."
Madsen served 11 years on the council before stepping down in December due to health reasons. He worked as a Eureka police officer, a child abuse investigator and for the Eureka Housing Authority for 25 years.
He was also involved in the city's waterfront revitalization project, the East-West rail project, the Land Bridge Alliance, the Boys and Girls Club of the Redwoods and was a liaison on the Eureka Redevelopment Advisory Board before the state's redevelopment agencies were dissolved.
Council members Mike Newman, Linda Atkins, Marian Brady and Chet Albin all said Madsen deserves the honor.
"I've known Lance for many, many years," Albin said. "I just say, 'Thank you, Lance, for everything you've done for the city of Eureka.'"
Newman said the award is a tribute to Madsen's public service.
"Lance has been sick the entire time he's done this last go-around as a city councilman," he said. "Frank saw that, and so did I."
It's also designed as a tribute to him, Newman added.
"He's done a lot of good for us for a long time," Ciarabellini added.
Jager said he will have Madsen or his family accept the award at a future council meeting.
Lorna Rodriguez can be reached at 441-0506 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @LornaARodriguez.