Mayor Chris Beutler today presented the Mayor's Award of Excellence for February to a team from the Street Maintenance Operations Division of the Public Works and Utilities Department: Equipment Operators Douglas Miller, Gale Ogg and Lance Sittner. Miller has worked for the City since 1990, Ogg since 1979 and Sittner since 2004.
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.
The team was nominated for its actions to help citizens in distress on two occasions. Supervisor John Rausch nominated the team in the category of valor. The Award of Excellence Committee also recognized the team in the category of customer relations for representing the City in a positive manner.
The first incident occurred in January when the crew was filling washouts behind curbs on North 27th Street and Wildcat Drive. Sittner saw a woman running from the Victorian Inn, who told him her two-year old daughter was missing. Miller dialed 911 and gave his phone to the mother. As police headed to the scene, the three City employees began searching for the toddler in the marshy, wetland area near the motel that includes tall grass and small ponds. After an unsuccessful search, they checked with the motel office and the child was found unharmed after a room-to-room search.
Another incident occurred about three years ago when the team helped a mother and child involved in a traffic crash that occurred over the lunch hour in front of the maintenance shop at 33rd and Baldwin. Sittner and Miller called 911, made sure the child was okay and comforted the victim lying on the ground. One of the men ran back to the shop for a first aid kit and wet rags, while the other man stayed on site directing traffic and waited for emergency personnel.
Rausch wrote in his nomination: "These men show the best kind of initiative. They are alert and responsive to the needs of the community we serve. I am very proud of them and feel they highly deserve the recognition of this award."
The other categories in which employees can be nominated are productivity, loss prevention and safety. 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 lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: personnel) or from department heads, employee bulletin boards or the Personnel 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 U.S. savings bond, a day off with pay and a plaque. Monthly winners and nominees are eligible to receive the annual award, which comes with a $250 U.S. savings bond, two days off with pay and a plaque.