Mayor Don Wesely today presented seven city employees with the Mayor's Award of Excellence for the months of March, April and May. The honorees were Planner Mike DeKalb for March; Lincoln Police Officer Mario Robinson for April; and the Public Works team of Dave Rydl, Clint Bundy, Rich Wohlers, Mark Reynolds and Mike House for May.
The award recognizes city employees who consistently provide exemplary service and work that demonstrates personal commitment to the city. The awards were presented at the beginning of today's City Council meeting.
DeKalb has been with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Department for more than 24 years. He was nominated in the area of customer relations for his work on the Mayor's Billboard Task Force.
"Mike provided a unique combination of interpersonal skills and technical background in order to guide Task Force members through the maze of issues the topic presented," Wesely said.
DeKalb's supervisor, Kent Morgan, said he showed exceptional leadership in keeping the Task Force moving forward. "Mike sought compromise where it was achievable, and accommodated dissent where it was constructive to do so. He represented the city's interests fairly while affording a full discussion of the issues."
Robinson is a six-year veteran of the Lincoln Police Department. He was nominated in the category of valor for his role in the March bank robbery incident in which a rural Greenwood couple was shot in their home. Robinson was one of the first police officers on the scene. After determining the couple had sustained life-threatening injuries, he began medical assistance.
"Officer Robinson has extensive training in EMT techniques, and his training along with his skills and calming demeanor surely contributed to saving these two people's lives," Mayor Wesely said.
In nominating Robinson, Sergeant Sandy Myers said his judgement and life-saving skills were invaluable in the incident. Greenwood Rescue called after the incident to thank Robinson for his excellent work. "It was the opinion of Greenwood Rescue that Officer Robinson's actions were definitely life-saving for the injured couple."
Rydl, Bundy, Wohlers, Reynolds and House are assigned to the North 48th Street Small Vehicle Transfer Station. They were nominated by Karla Welding in the category of customer relations for their work rebuilding and reconditioning the Transfer Station walking floor. After the equipment manufacturer recommended major repairs, they looked for ways to decrease the inconvenience to the public, to save money and to develop a more thorough knowledge of the mechanical and hydraulic components of the walking floor.
"The preparation and organization that occurred before the Transfer Station was taken out of service greatly reduced the amount of time and the extent of inconvenience to the public," Mayor Wesely said. "The completed repairs significantly reduce the potential for future failures. Each of these men's contributions to the project served to minimize the impact to customers and resulted in an estimated savings of $15,000 to $20,000."
In addition to customer relations and valor, the other categories in which employees can be nominated are safety, productivity and loss prevention. All city employees are eligible for the Mayor's Award of Excellence except for elected officials and some managers. Individuals or teams can be nominated by supervisors, peers, subordinates and the general public.
Nomination forms are available from department heads, employee bulletin boards or the Personnel Department, which oversees the awards program. All nominations are reviewed by the Mayor's Award of Excellence Committee, which includes a representative with each union and a non-union representative appointed by the Mayor.
Award winners receive a $100 U.S. savings bond, a day off with pay and a plaque. Monthly winners are eligible to receive the annual award, which comes with a $500 U.S. savings bond, two days off with pay and a plaque.