Sometimes actions really do speak louder than words.
Like at Monday evening's special Greencastle City Council meeting.
The session was arranged as a more or less routine second reading/adoption of Ordinance 2011-4, amending the 2011 Salary Ordinance to provide one-time payouts for fulltime and part-time city employees.
For all practical purposes, a Christmas bonus.
First reading was accomplished unanimously at the Council's Dec. 13 regular monthly meeting, but a special session was necessary to adopt the ordinance in order to make the payouts to employees before the end of the year.
And as is often the case, getting there can be half the battle. Assuring that the Council would have a quorum for Monday's meeting was equally as interesting.
After all, city officials already knew Council President Adam Cohen would be unavailable, as he has accompanied his DePauw University swim team out of state for training.
That meant at least three of the remaining four Council members would have to be on hand Monday and vote favorably for the measure.
The logistics of how the councilors managed to arrive was as interesting as it was admirable.
For example, Fourth Ward Councilman T. J. Smith, due to begin his 6 p.m.-to-6 a.m. shift as a Putnam County Sheriff's Department deputy, rushed to City Hall before going on duty.
Smith was the first to arrive, soon followed by Third Ward representative Jinsie Bingham, who had come tooling down Highway 41, leaving behind a trip to Chicago to watch the Bears and visit family in time to reach City Hall by 5:30 p.m.
As the clock ticked toward the designated meeting time, Councilor-at-large Phyllis Rokicki rushed in the front doors, explaining how she had lost track of time trying to help a neighbor pick up tree limbs from her yard.
With a quorum on hand, city officials relaxed, but perked up as they spotted Second Ward Councilman Mark Hammer literally running toward the front door.
Council members scarcely had time to catch their breath before they were voting to adopt the one-time bonus pay measure.
Hammer made the motion and Rokicki seconded before Smith and Bingham made it unanimous.
"We have some very happy employees," Mayor Sue Murray told the Council.
"Wonderful!" Rokicki instantly responded.
Clerk-Treasurer Teresa Glenn said city employees would be getting a physical check Wednesday for the bonuses rather than seeing the money direct-deposited.
"That's what they like," she said, adding that many of them plan to use the money on Christmas presents.
Nearing the end of a year marked by frugal spending, the City Council voted to share some unspent 2011 salary allocations with city workers who had otherwise gone without a pay increase for 2011.
Under Ordinance 2011-4, each current city employee who has worked full-time since Jan. 1, 2011 will receive a one-time payment of $550.
Current employees who are considered part-time or who have been hired full-time after Jan. 1, 2011 will get a one-time payment of $275. Part-timers affected by the ordinance must work at least 20 hours per week, 12 months per year.
Crossing guards employed by the city also will be rewarded. They will see a one-time payment of $50.
Elected city officials, like those on the City Council that passed the bonus measure, are exempt from the one-time payout.