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City recognizes employee, manager of the year
City Administrator Bill Reynolds announced the city’s 2018 employee and manager of the year at the city’s annual holiday employee appreciation breakfast Dec. 14. Public Works Foreman Keith Raines was named employee of the year; Finance Manager Melissa Schlingman was chosen as manager of the year.
Raines, an 18-year city employee, has served as streets foreman since March 2014. He recently took over the city’s tree management program. Among his contributions, Raines organized the 2017 fall and 2017 spring boulevard tree planting events. Raines worked with several local organizations to coordinate volunteers and notifyarea residents. Raines also coordinated the city’s ash tree removal program, spring tree sale, University of Minnesota citizen pruning events and more.
“Raines is a go-to, can-do member of our team,” said Public Works Director Steve Lillehaug. “Keith’s routine work is done seamlessly and with a high level of responsibility. His customer service is exemplary.”
Schlingman was hired as the city’s finance manager in 2011. She spearheaded several innovative projects over the past year to increase financial transparency, efficiency and internal controls. These include implementing a paperless accounts payable process and revamping the city’s budget documents.
Schlingman is also responsible for the city’s financial reporting. Finance Director Darin Nelson says the city’s clean audit and no findings are a testament to her ability to ensure the city’s financial records are in impeccable order.
“I always know that anything Melissa works on will be done with the highest and best quality, which typically includes some sort of innovative feature I wasn’t aware was possible,” Nelson said. “I can attest on a daily basis that her knowledge and abilities have helped shape the finance department into one of, if not, the best city finance departments in the state.”
The employee and manager of the year awards were created in 2018 to recognize city staff who demonstrate a commitment to excellence, deliver excellence in customer service, reinforce a positive atmosphere, continuously improve and innovate and work collaboratively.