At the annual awards banquet of the Indiana Township Association held in Indianapolis on September 21, 2021, our own Wayne Township Trustee, Austin Knox, was awarded the 2021 First Term Trustee Overachiever Award.
In early 2020, long-time Wayne Township Trustee Richard A. Stevenson Sr. stepped down from his post for health reasons, and soon after, his deputy Austin Knox, was elected by a unanimous vote at a caucus of Democratic precinct committeemen to fill out the remainder of his term.
Mr. Knox had come up through the ranks at Wayne Township. After earning his degree in Political Science at Indiana Purdue University-Fort Wayne he started working at the trustee’s office as a front-line investigator. He soon moved up to a supervisory position as Director of Support Services and then became Deputy Trustee. On that trajectory he could boast having the education needed to lead one of the largest townships in the state along with the experience of directly working with the client-partners we serve on a day-to-day basis and with supervising a large office staff of over 30 employees. Trustee Knox led his co-workers by example in a style that he learned from his background in team sports, especially playing college football for Trine University before transferring to IPFW.
That January it looked as though 2020 would be a normal year of serving the public here at the trustee’s office–until when, two months later, the COVID-19 pandemic caused so much havoc. In late March we were called upon to close our doors to walk-in clients—something we had never done in the fifteen years of our experience and probably for many years before that. While people could not come into our office, their need for assistance did not go away, and Trustee Knox and his staff committed themselves to seamlessly continuing the work helping those clients with urgent requests.
Our investigators shifted gears and learned to handle their interactions with clients over the computer, through the mail and over the phones. We went out to help people when necessary and, to protect the staff from exposure to the virus, the trustee and his deputy Dominique Dickey manned the front desk themselves whenever someone needed to come in to sign a document or drop off a completed form. Many of the columns we have written for the Waynedale News over the last year and a half have described the special measures we took to keep the mission of Wayne Township moving forward.
When anyone starts a new job, they find out that it takes a while to learn the ropes. Trustee Knox faced not only that but he had to keep the township trustee office afloat through an unprecedented pandemic. And he introduced many new programs to boot. It was because of these accomplishments that he was awarded the Overachiever Award as a first-term trustee. We are very proud of Trustee Austin Knox and wish to extend our congratulations for this special recognition. We also thank him for leading us through these trying times, and we look forward to better times ahead with him at the helm.
- Welcoming The New Year ~ Voice Of The Township - January 20, 2023
- Honoring The Work & Life of Richard A Stevenson Sr. ~ Voice Of The Township - December 16, 2022
- Skating Through The Holidays ~ Voice Of The Township - December 2, 2022