Mayor Chris Beutler today will present the Mayor's Award of Excellence for March to Shawnadee Morris of the Wastewater-Solid Waste Operations division of the Public Works and Utilities Department. The award will be presented at the beginning of today's City Council meeting, which starts at 3 p.m. in the County-City Building, 555 S. 10th Street. The monthly award recognizes City employees who consistently provide exemplary service and work that demonstrates personal commitment to the City.
Morris has worked for the City since 1999. She was nominated by co-worker Bonnie Campbell and Superintendent of Solid Waste Operations Karla Welding in the category of customer relations for her actions to help identify a missing person from outside of Nebraska.
Morris is a Gatehouse Attendant and processes vehicles using the solid waste disposal facilities. On December 13, 2012, an elderly man traveling alone entered the North 48th facility and asked for directions to his home. Morris noticed that his vehicle had South Dakota license plates. The man did not know when he had left home or where he was. She invited him inside the gatehouse and gave him some water. After ruling out any obvious conditions requiring immediate medical attention, Morris continued to gather information, including his name. She contacted the Police and offered him something to eat. While an officer and another investigating official did research, Morris talked to the man for nearly three hours. The entire time, she also handled her duties of processing traffic for the solid waste facilities.
The nominators wrote that Morris treated the man with respect and kept him calm. The man was identified as a missing person from Vermillion, South Dakota. Campbell wrote that Morris' intuition and genuine concern for the man's welfare may have saved his life. Morris has since contacted him and learned he is doing well, although he doesn't remember who she is or any of the events that happened during that time.
The other categories in which employees can be nominated are valor, 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 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.