Basnight named Dare County’s March 2024 Employee of the Month – OBX Today

Basnight named Dare County's March 2024 Employee of the Month - OBX Today
March 2024 Employee of the Month James Basnight holding his certificate. (Dare County)

James Basnight, who serves as a crew leader for the Grounds Maintenance Division of the Dare County Public Works Department, has been named Employee of the Month for March 2024. The prestigious award was presented to Basnight by Grounds Maintenance Division Superintendent Dave Stupka during the Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting that was held at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 2, 2024.*

Basnight initially began his service to Dare County on August 16, 1999, when he was hired as a grounds maintenance worker for the Public Works Department, and he was promoted to his current position as a grounds maintenance crew leader on February 14, 2016.

In this role, Basnight is tasked with a variety of responsibilities that keep the grounds surrounding 40-plus Dare County facilities from the northern beaches to the tip of Hatteras Island in exceptional shape, including mowing, trimming and edging grass; weeding flower beds and shrub beds; and pruning, shearing, and trimming trees and shrubs; as well as planting trees, shrubs and annual flower displays; laying sod and seeding grass; and preparing beds for planting.

March 2024 Employee of the Month: James Basnight receiving his award.
Grounds Maintenance Division Superintendent Dave Stupka and Grounds Maintenance Crew Leader James Basnight during the Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting.

In addition to these duties, Basnight also oversees several assigned crew members within the Grounds Maintenance Division to ensure all work is performed in a high-quality, safe and timely manner; orders and stocks cleaning supplies and tools for the division’s workshop, which he also keeps well organized; performs regularly scheduled maintenance on mowers, tools and equipment; provides training to new employees; installs holiday decorations at county facilities; and performs storm cleanup and snow removal when necessary.

According to Stupka, Basnight is “instrumental” in performing important groundskeeping services to dozens of Dare County facilities, including those located within the frequently visited governmental complex on Marshall C. Collins Drive in Manteo—which includes the Dare County Administration Building, Dare County Justice Center and Virginia S. Tillett Community Center—and noted that Basnight has received considerable praise for his efforts to keep these sites in particular in excellent shape.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen a humongous amount of improvements here at the admin complex, just with James being here and concentrating his efforts here,” said Stupka, whose compliments were also echoed by one of Basnight’s colleagues who wrote the following in their nomination form recommending that he receive the honor of being named Dare County Employee of the Month:

“He is always busy around the administrative complex, whether it be cutting grass, weedeating, leaf blowing, watering plants, etc. He takes pride in his work and never seems to complain. He is very courteous when people are passing him while he is working—stopping the blower or weedeater. He keeps our grounds looking great!”

During his Employee of the Month presentation, Stupka also commented on Basnight’s positive attitude and friendly demeanor, as well as his easygoing nature and ability to tackle any challenge that he may encounter during his day-to-day duties.

“James is a very friendly and personable individual,” said Stupka. “When he sees you, he will greet you and say hello. He’s respectful to everyone around him, from coworkers to customers to your everyday citizens. He’s always willing to be flexible and accommodating to address issues that may arise from time to time.”

As he concluded his remarks and presented Basnight with his certificate, Stupka commented, “Congratulations, James, on your Employee of the Month [award]. You deserve it, and it’s definitely long overdue.”

*The March 2024 Dare County Employee of the Month award was presented during the Dare County Board of Commissioners’ April 2024 meeting due to recipient James Basnight being unable to attend the previous month’s meeting.