Mayor Chris Beutler on Monday presented the Mayor's Award of Excellence for February to Sandra Lutz from the Aging Partners division of the Mayor's Department. The award was presented at the beginning of the City Council meeting. The monthly award recognizes City employees who consistently provide exemplary service and work that demonstrates personal commitment to the City.
Lutz has worked for the City since 2002 and was nominated by Aging Partners Director Randy Jones in the category of productivity. Lutz had supervised the Medicaid Waiver program for many years until she became supervisor of the Community Activities and Services Division in 2017. As part of a transition in managers in 2018, Lutz volunteered to again take on the Medicaid Waiver program in addition to her regular duties. The change added 23 staff members and a $2.8 million budget to her responsibilities.
Jones said Lutz addressed regulatory gaps and improved performance in the Medicaid Waiver team. During her entire time supervising the program, she kept expenses down and produced a net return of $283,000. Jones said her leadership has led to a significant improvement in quality and improved accountability with the State of Nebraska in the Medicaid Waiver program.
The other categories in which employees can be nominated are customer service, safety, loss prevention 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.