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2009 Media Releases


Date:
January 12, 2009
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831


MAYOR PRESENTS DECEMBER AWARD OF EXCELLENCE

Mayor Chris Beutler today presented the Mayor’s Award of Excellence for December to a team from two departments: Nicholas Wemhoff is Systems Software Integrator in the Information Services division of the Finance Department, and he has worked for the City for eight years. Barbara Boggs is an Employment Technician II in City-County Personnel, and she has been with that department for more than 30 years.

The monthly award recognizes City employees who consistently provide exemplary service and work that demonstrates personal commitment to the City. The award was presented at the beginning of today’s City Council meeting.

Personnel Coordinator Pat Kant nominated the team in the categories of productivity and loss prevention for a multi-year project to make the application and hiring process almost paperless. Wemhoff wrote and developed the Personnel Applicant Tracking System, and Boggs was the Project Manager. The system features an online job application and supplemental questionnaire; automated job requisition and preliminary rating processes; and online job posting and advertising. Applicants can use the system at all hours, determine their status within the process and receive e-mail notification of any specific job opening.

Kant said the project has saved an estimated $11,000 a year in material expenses alone. It also is more efficient for applicants and staff and has increased productivity. Nearly all City and County Departments now use the system, which was cited as a significant factor in Lincoln being named the top digital City in the nation by the Center for Digital Government.

Wemhoff also was recognized for a second nomination in the categories of customer relations and productivity. He was nominated by County Clerk Dan Nolte, Deputy Clerk Cori Beattie and County Records Specialist III Melissa Koci for his work on a new property valuation protest system. Wemhoff developed a program that allows property owners to complete a protest form electronically, print the protest and to self-schedule a convenient hearing date and time.

Nominators said the program saves the public time and effort and saves staff many hours of data entry. Because typed protest forms are easier to read than handwritten forms, the program has increased accuracy as well. In 2008, 78 percent of the protests were done online, far surpassing the County Clerk’s estimates, and many positive comments were received from the public about the new system.

The other categories in which employees can be nominated are safety and valor. Consideration also may be given to nominations that demonstrate self-initiated accomplishments or those completed outside of the nominee’s job description.

All City employees are eligible for the Mayor’s Award of Excellence except for elected and appointed officials. Individuals or teams can be nominated by supervisors, peers, subordinates and the general public. Nomination forms are available on the City Web site at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: personnel) or 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.


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