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2004 Media Releases

July 19, 2004
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831

Mayor Presents Awards Of Excellence for May and June

Mayor Coleen Seng today presented the Mayor’s Award of Excellence for May to a team from three different City departments: Jay Edmiston, of Public Works and Utilities, Dave Bomberger, of Parks and Recreation and Leon Marquart, of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. The Mayor also presented the Mayor’s Award of Excellence for June to Donnamarie Jones of the Police Department. The monthly awards recognize 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.

Edmiston is a Public Works Inspector and has been employed by the City since 1972. Bomberger is a District Park Supervisor and has been employed by the City since 1968. Marquart is an Environmental Health Specialist and has been employed by the City since 1989. The three were nominated in the category of productivity by Scott Holmes of the Health Department for their efforts to combat the West Nile virus.

In 2002, the West Nile virus resulted in 16 reported cases and one death in the City of Lincoln. As the summer of 2003 approached, there were indications that the number of West Nile cases would be a major health risk in the community. Although the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department was engaged in a comprehensive West Nile prevention campaign, officials decided a city-wide adult mosquito spraying program was needed.

The City had not sprayed for mosquitos for more than 30 years and had no equipment or employees who were experienced in operating a spray program. The program also had to be in place within 90 days in order to protect the community. Funds were allocated to purchase the equipment, and the team traveled to St. Paul, Minnesota for intensive training. Spraying was conducted in Lincoln for more than 30 days, and in that time no claim or valid complaint was received about the operation of the program.

“What a tribute to these individuals, to implement a spray program for the size of the City of Lincoln in less than 90 days,” wrote Holmes. “The final number of reported West Nile virus cases in Lancaster County was 129 with two deaths. There is no doubt that, due to the efforts of Jay, Dave and Leon, the number of people that would have contracted West Nile Virus disease was reduced significantly.”

Jones is a Service Desk Supervisor and just celebrated her 26th anniversary with LPD. She was nominated by Captain Jon Sundermeier on behalf of the LPD Awards Committee in the category of productivity. Jones was recently named the 2004 Civilian Employee of the Year by the Police Department and has served the department in both the Operations and Support Divisions.

The LPD Awards Committee states that Jones continued to excel in all aspects of performance this past year as her supervisory responsibilities expanded to ten individuals. Police Chief Tom Casady says Jones does an excellent job of negotiating, problem-solving and creating a sense of teamwork. Her duties include:

  • working as a trainer with new employees;
  • serving as a Police Service Specialist, taking more than 500 reports last year;
  • running the Channel 50 radio operations;
  • overseeing the processing of warrants;
  • working the football detail; and
  • serving on the LPD Civilian Hiring and Policy Review committees.

Jones has volunteered to assist with the Lincoln Marathon crew for years. She received a commendation for her role in Amnesty Day. She also has worked as a referee for the City Parks and Recreation Department for 36 years. Chief Casady says LPD is grateful for her dedication, loyalty, commitment and caring throughout her career, but this year she has proven herself particularly deserving of our appreciation.

The other categories in which employees can be nominated are customer relations, valor, safety 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.

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