Residents and business owners of San Mateo were honored last night at the Sixth Annual Community Recognition awards at City Hall. Mayor Jan Epstein, and councilmembers Sue Lempert, Claire Mack and John Lee presented the awards to the property owners.

After introducing the organizers for the awards, Epstein turned her attention to the recipients. "The part we are really here for is to honor you," she said.

The awards ceremony and following ice cream social reception, was put on by the Community Improvement Commission, and the 2000 Recognition Awards Committee.

Wende Protzman, co-chair of the awards commission and member of the Community Improvement Committee said this year the committee saw an increase in businesses and apartment complexes.

Individual homes, apartment complexes and businesses were all honored at the event.

Among the award winners were the Great River Company, located in downtown, honored for its improved look, and Allen and Anna Nelson, honored for the landscaping around their home.

Epstein presented all the recipients with gift certificates from various businesses in San Mateo, Hillsdale Shopping Center, Spiedo Ristorante, Villa Hotel and Draegers, were some of the businesses to provide gift certificates.

According to organizer, Protzman, the awards are something the city sponsors as well as the code enforcement.

"The code enforcement is sometimes viewed as a negative organization, but this is the positive side of it, when we can have a celebration like this," Protzman said.

Leon Nickolas, code enforcement officer for San Mateo said the city is very proud of the people who received the awards. Typically, code enforcement will go after property violations, like tall weeds, wrecked cars, and holes in the roof.

"We sweep neighborhoods with neighborhood improvement teams and this works very well," he said. "We work with the police very often."

Nickolas was glad to be part of the celebration last night. "This is the one time during the year when we do something positive," he told the Daily Journal. "We can give out awards and we can say we are very proud of you."

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