Mayor Chris Beutler today presented the Mayor's Award of Excellence for April to Michael Kennedy, a StarTran Bus Operator in the Public Works and Utilities 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 the beginning of today's City Council meeting.
Kennedy has worked for the City since December 2009. StarTran Transit Manager Larry Worth nominated him in the categories of customer relations and valor for helping a citizen in danger.
On February 18 of this year, Kennedy was driving his bus near St. John's Catholic Church at 76th and Vine when he saw a man in a motorized wheelchair stuck in the mud and tipping sideways. He stopped the bus, turned on the flashers and crossed the street to help the man safely cross the street before continuing his route. Kennedy's actions may have prevented the man from being injured from his chair tipping over completely.
Laverne and Shirley Stetson who live near the church, observed Kennedy's actions and reported them to StarTran. They commended the driver and said they were very proud of him, writing, "We were privileged to watch the 'Good Samaritan'." Worth said Kennedy's actions were above and beyond the call of duty and that StarTran was proud to have excellent employees like him.
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. All 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.