Mayor Chris Beutler today presented the Mayor's Award of Excellence for September to Associate Engineer Joshua Meyer of the Engineering Services Division of the City 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.
Meyer has worked for the City since 2009. Assistant City Engineer Randy Hoskins and Senior Engineering Specialist Dave Bernt nominated Meyer in the categories of customer relations, productivity and safety for his work to arrange for video from the City traffic cameras to be used live on KLKN-TV, channel 8.
The City began installing the traffic cameras more than a decade ago. The traffic camera video is available on the City website at lincoln.ne.gov, but Public Works and Utilities had long wanted to give the public greater access to the resource. In the past, there has been interest by television stations wanting to use the video on their newscasts, but technical and legal issues made it difficult.
When KLKN contacted the City in late 2010, Meyer took on the project unaware of the previous barriers. He combined a can-do attitude with his extensive knowledge of how to make it happen. He worked with Chris Connolly in the City Attorney's office to clear the legal issues, and an agreement between the City and KLKN was signed in January 2012. In exchange for the use of the traffic camera feeds, KLKN is providing more than $25,000 worth of public service announcements to help educate the public about the Public Works and Utilities Department.
One of Meyer's first technological challenges was to coordinate the interface between the City network and the KLKN network. After successfully transmitting the traffic camera feed to KLKN, Meyer again used his advanced knowledge and technical background to successfully complete the interface between the KLKN video streamers and the City's cameras.
The arrangement is a win-win, with motorists now having more access to information to plan their travel routes. At the same time, KLKN is helping to educate the public about the important work of the department. The nominators wrote, "As a result of his efforts in doing 'what they said couldn't be done,' Josh has provided a valuable service to the citizens of Lincoln."
The other categories in which employees can be nominated are 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 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 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.