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Mayor's Office

2011 Media Releases

March 14, 2011
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 402-441-7831

Mayor Presents February Award Of Excellence

Mayor Chris Beutler today presented the Mayor's Award of Excellence for February to Sarah Neujahr of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. 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 today's City Council meeting.

Neujahr has worked as an Animal Control Dispatcher for the City since 1997. Animal Control Manager Steve Beal nominated Neujahr in the categories of customer relations, loss prevention and productivity for her development of new procedures for pet license renewal.

When new Animal Control ordinances passed a few months ago, the division anticipated an increased number of calls from the public. Neujahr wrote a streamlined procedure for pet license phone calls that provides better customer service. Beal said her work on the procedures is saving the department time and money. Animal Control officers and staff have better and faster access to more accurate information on the status of license renewals and the pet owners.

Neujahr handles the more than 4,000 delinquent pet license follow-ups. She developed a more efficient data base and spreadsheet that can be accessed by officers in the field or by dispatchers. Managers can produce reports, track the status of license renewals and find where problems might exist. Information is grouped by zip code allowing the manager to assign and track progress across the City. The increased efficiency requires less staff time to research the status of owners who are behind on licensing their pets.

Neujahr also has attended two Saturday clinics to microchip potentially dangerous dogs. Beal said she is dedicated to her job, supportive of co-workers and maintains a "can do — no problem" attitude even when the pace is frantic.

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 at (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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