Mayor Chris Beutler today will present the Mayor's Award of Excellence for May to Engineer Erika Nunes of the Engineering Services division of the Public Works and Utilities Department. The award will be presented at 3 p.m. at the beginning of the City Council meeting at the County-City Building, 555 S. 10th Street. The monthly award recognizes City employees who consistently provide exemplary service and work that demonstrates personal commitment to the City.
Nunes was nominated in the categories of customer service, loss prevention and productivity by Engineer Zach Becker and Engineering Services Manager Thomas Shafer for her work on the City's Pavement Management Program.
Nunes' efforts were pivotal in the City gaining approval from the Federal Highway Administration for the City's Pavement Management Program that allows maintenance work to be eligible for federal aid funding. She was also the driving force behind the expansion of the Pavement Management Program. Activities in this program include researching additional preventive treatment options, use of three different types of pavement sealants, expansion of the concrete repair program, and the use of a micro-surfacing pavement process.
Nominators said Nunes strengthened communication with Street Maintenance Operations to improving coordination between pavement repairs. They wrote "Erika has a real passion for municipal infrastructures and especially pavement management, she's always willing to offer assistance and share advice with others based on her knowledge, whether that be with co-workers, with the public, or with other municipalities who call regarding the City's Pavement Management Program."
In addition to the pavement program, the nominees wrote that the City typically expects to spend between $6 and $9 million annually on the rehabilitation of streets. Erika has worked to develop projects in excess of that amount when funding sources have become available. Those include:
This amount of money is the equivalent of having more than three additional years of projects being added to Erika's typical workload.
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 award except for elected and appointed officials. Individuals or teams can be nominated by supervisors, peers, subordinates and the general public. Nomination forms are available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: hr) or from department heads, employee bulletin boards or the Human Resources Department, which oversees the awards program.
All nominations are considered 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 $50 gift certificate, a day off with pay and a plaque. All monthly winners and nominees are eligible to receive the annual award, which comes with a $250 gift certificate, two days off with pay and a plaque.