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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

2008 Media Releases

March 17, 2008
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831


Mayor Chris Beutler today presented the Mayor’s Award of Excellence for February to Animal Control Officer DeMon Wimes. 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.

Wimes has worked for the Animal Control Division of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department since 1994. Manager Jim Weverka nominated Wimes in the categories of valor and customer relations for his history of going above and beyond his duties to care for Lincoln’s people and animals.

A recent example involved a case in which Animal Control was working with Adult Protective Services. A 93-year-old, legally blind woman was having problems with cats and fleas at her home. Wimes was making a follow-up visit when he noticed a burning smell coming from the home. He discovered that popcorn she was cooking had ignited a grease fire. The lower level of the home was completely filled with smoke.

Wimes attempted to escort her outside, but she refused to leave. Wimes called Fire and Rescue, opened the windows and doors and began venting the house with a fan. After firefighters left, Wimes waited for all of the smoke to clear so that the doors and windows could be closed. He also called the woman’s caseworker. It was later learned that the woman was reluctant to go outside because she has agoraphobia (fear of open spaces). Wimes discovered that the woman loves popcorn, so he promised to bring her some the next day if she did not try to cook any more that evening.

Weverka reports that all of the cats have been captured and taken to the shelter, and the woman’s home has been cleaned. He thanked Wimes for handling difficult situations with great care and concern for human beings as well as their animals.

The other categories in which employees can be nominated are safety, productivity and loss prevention. 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 on the City Web site at (keyword: personnel) or from department heads, employee bulletin boards or the Personnel Department, which oversees the awards program.

All nominations are reviewed 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 $100 U.S. savings bond, a day off with pay and a plaque. Monthly winners are eligible to receive the annual award, which comes with a $500 U.S. savings bond, two days off with pay and a plaque.

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