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Recent Awards
Team Based Award
Steve Herman & Mike Banuelos
GSD/Fleet Management
$500 Award - 4/21/09

Steve Herman, Light Equipment Mechanic and Mike Banuelos, Light Equipment Leadworker did their homework and found an adaptor for the existing brake lathes instead of buying new units that would have cost $8,000 each.  This adaptor allows Fleet to perform brake jobs on the 2008 Dodge Charger patrol units in house with a savings to the Police Department of approximately $31,510.


Arnulfo Flores
GSD/Fleet Management
$500 Award - 5/7/09

Arnulfo "Ray" Flores was presented with a $500 check by GSD Director Ken Nerland, City Manager Andy Souza and Mayor Ashley Swearengin, for his idea to discontinue installation of the Police Taxi Interface Module (PTIM) on the 2008 model year Dodge Charge Police Units. 


Team Based Award
Joe Madrigal, Robert Reyna, Max Gongora, and Job Diubilo
DPU/Solid Waste Management
$500 Award - 11/8/08

Joe Madrigal, Robert Reyna, Max Gongora and Job Diubilo's idea to build a mobile tool to restore garbage bin pockets was acknowledged with a $500 check to each at the City Council meeting on November 8, 2008.  They designed and built the unit using scrap steel and only $600 and estimated savings are $17,176 annually.


Team Based Award 
Maya O'Neal and Felice Fernandez/FAX
$50 Award - 9/23/08


Maya O'Neal, Staff Assistant and Felice Fernandez, Sr. Admin. Clerk for Fresno Area Express, were awarded $50.  They submitted an Idea$ Pay form suggesting that FAX fold disability certification applications when returning to customers requesting discount fares and paratransit services which would reduce not only envelope costs but postage by almost half the cost.

Jesse Morrison
P&D/Code Enforcement Division
$773 Award - 9/23/08

Jesse Morrison, Associate Enfironmental & Safety Consultant II in the Code Enforcement Division, was awarded a $773 check for his Idea to charge an administrative fee to process billings to property owners who are billed for placement of a rental fence around an open and vacant building.  The idea was approved an Code Enforcement now charges $85 for each billing to a property owner.

Steve Crandall
GSD/Facilities Management Division
$100 Award - 1/29/08

City Manager Souza recognized and presented a "Big Check" to Steve Crandall (Jose Gonzalez accepted on Steve's behalf) for his Idea$ Pay concept lighting retrofit project at the Convention Center Plaza.

While working at the Convention Center Plaza in December, 2007, the Facilities Management Division was confronted with a problem of the mounting ballast on light poles to be installed.  With a short time to complete the project, and after contacting the manufacturer's representative, Steve suggested installing an 85 watt compact fluorescent lamp in place of the 150 watt metal halide lamp which only required removing the existing socket and installing a new socket.  The retrofit will save approximately $800 per year and will maintain the aesthetic visual of the streamlined poles in the Plaza.

Team Based Award
John Steinhauer, Felipe Martinez, Al Shepherd, Richard Jufiar, Robert Ascencio, Arnulfo Ray Flores, George Hobbs
GSD/Fleet Management and ISD/Communications Services Divisions
$500.00 Each - 1/29/08

City Manager Souza recognized and presented a "Big Check" to Mr. Steinhauer, Mr. Martinez, Mr. Shepherd, Mr. Jufiar, Mr. Ascencio, Mr. Flores, and Mr. Hobbs (also pictured:  Andy Souza-center & Tim Olday-far right) for their team-based Idea$ Pay concept to recycle equipment from retired patrol vehicles.

Retired Police Department Patrol Vehicles must be stripped of emergency lighting and radio equipment before they are taken out of service.  The Upfit Team determined that these items can be reused and/or recycled to realize a considerable cost savings.  Small metal components are recycled through Fleet Managements metal scrap program, usable lighting, siren and control equipment will be retained for repair and maintenance of older Ford Crown Victoria vehicles and dual band radio, remote head, microphone and date radio modems will be function checked at the Radio Shop and reinstalled into future Dodge Charger Patrol Vehicles.


Team Based Award
Joseph Oldham, Roberta Cope

GSD/Fleet Management Division
$100.00 Each - 1/29/08

City Manager Souza recognized and presented a "Big Check" to Mr. Joseph Oldham and Mrs. Roberta Cope for their team-based Idea$ Pay concept to pursue an Excise Tax Rebate for Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) from the Federal Government.

Roberta and Joseph pursued a federal excise tax rebate from the Federal Government on all of the LNG purchased for the City's fleet of refuse trucks.  Refund checks for the first two quarters in the amount of $170,000 have been received with more anticipated to follow.


Team Based Award
Kim LeBlanc (not pictured-Ken Wade)

DPU/Wastewater Management Division
$200.00 Each - 1/28/08


City Manager Souza recognized and presented a "Big Check" to Mr. Kim LeBlanc and Mr. Ken Wade (not pictured) for their team-based Idea$ Pay concept engineer and fabricate a steel stand to ship raw sewage lift pumps.

Kim and Ken recognized that the old wooden stands were not cost effective or easy to load.  They designed and fabricated a permanent steel stand that engineered out most of the hazards associated with the return process of raw sewage lift pumps an dwill save approximately $3,900 of a 10 year period.

James Horg
PRCS/Parks Division
$100 Award - 1/29/08


City Manager Souza recognized and presented a "Big Check" to James Horg for his Idea$ Pay concept to replace incandescent light bulbs with CFL bulbs in shelters and restrooms in regional and pocket parks.

With the ever increasing cost of energy to keep shelters and restrooms lit at night it makes sense to look for energy saving measures.  With over 130 light bulbs in shelters, restrooms and miscellaneous out buildings in Wood Park alone replacing these bulbs will save approximately $10,000 over the life of the CLF bulbs.


Team Based Award
Gary Winkler, Ed Pelkey, Robert Nickel
DPU/Water Division
$1,667.00 Each - 3/28/06

City Manager Souza recognized and presented checks to Mr. Winkley, Mr. Pelkey and Mr. Nickel for their team-based Idea$ Pay concept which created a major change in the way USA (Underground Service Alerts) requests are handled.

All USA requests affecting City utilities are processed through the Department of Public Utilities, Water Division who receives approximately 100 requests a day. The old practice consists of staff sorting though those 100 tickets a day while attempting to determine the address location. Under the new process, the USA Ticket is emailed directly to a server at the Water Division. Portions of the ticket data is then used to determine the site’s latitude and longitude, queries GIS and prints the image of the plat on the back of the ticket. This process saves a minimum of two hours a day in sorting, printing and distributing. The new process frees up staff to spend more time marking and verifying and less time researching and copying, resulting in improved quality and less chance for error.

Errors resulting in damage to water or sewer facilities, referred to as a “hit”, generally result from unmarked or improperly marked utility services and have cost the City in excess of $30,000 in damage. Historically, the average repair to a “hit” on a City water or sewer main can cost the City between $3,000 and $15,000 or more. The team innovatively developed the new process utilizing existing equipment, wrote the software applications and programs. No additional expenses were incurred as a result of the team’s implementation of the new process. The team’s idea provides a significant cost savings to the department and maximizes staff time, labor and resources, supporting the City’s Key Objective.

Lynn Gerard
DPU/Water Division
$1,000 award

The Water Division checks out Travel Water Meters to contractors who need to connect to City water hydrants to draw water during construction and issues them a six month permit. Procedures are in place which required the contractor to call in with the meter reading each month for billing and return it for final billing when the permit expires. The problem was that these meters are not all returned after the six month permit expires and either sit idle in a shop when they could have been generating revenue by another contractor or are used by the contractor to access free City water.

As a result of the Idea Pay Recommendation, the Water Division implemented a “Penalty for Returning Travel Meter after Permit Expiration Date” fee for all permit holders of $10.00 per day which was effective July 1, 2006.

Celeste Henley 
Housing, Economic & Community Dev. Department
$2,100.00 Award - 6/18/02

One of the many Human Resources processes is to distribute job announcements via US Mail. The process encompasses many HR labor hours, printing labor, bulletins, and postage. Ms. Henley's idea of electronically broadcasting job announcements to the HR's established mailing list, which consist of hundreds of addresses, e.g., Universities, Trade Schools, Local Government Agencies, State Agencies, etc., had estimated total savings $21,991.40.

Richard Torres
Fresno Area Express
$200.00 Award and Certificate 6/18/02

Mr. Torres was awarded $200.00 for his idea. He discovered during a maintenance inspection of the air conditioning unit on a transit bus, that the clutch and bearing assembly for the air compressor were off specification; therefore the unit was removed and replaced at a cost of $300 per unit. Mr. Torres' idea was to refurbish the units at a local machine shop by resurfacing the air conditioning clutch surface instead of replacing the entire unit.

Robert Peralta
GSD/Fleet Management Division
$200.00 Award - 6/18/02

The Fleet Management Division retires City vehicles (for salvage), which are stored in a "bone yard" until disposed. Mr. Peralta's idea was to evacuate the R-12 Freon from the A/C system after the vehicle was taken out of service. This would create an average savings of 2 to 4 pounds of R-12 per vehicle. The City has several pre-1994 vehicles in the City's fleet that would use the R-12 Freon. In addition, there is an environmental benefit in that by removing the R-12 Freon from the vehicles eliminating the potential for leaks that may occur from stiffen or shrunken seals in the air-conditioning system. Mr. Peralta was awarded $200 for his cost-saving and environmental benefit idea. Total savings of $1,000.

Jeff Hilton
Convention Center
$200 Award - 4/20/02

Tons of glass from beer and wine bottles, and unbelievable amounts of paper and cardboard are place in regular garbage containers. Mr. Hilton was very concerned about the on-going challenge to reduce the landfill trash tonnage, and also the benefits of recycling materials on the ecology. Mr. Hilton's idea was focused on the Convention Center. Tenants/vendors of the convention center would be asked to recycle the glass containers, etc. (The City would make recycling bins available). Although there will be little or no direct savings to the City, in recycling of items, the city will reduce overall landfill volume, supporting the City's requirements.

Clayton Rider
Fire Department
Certificate of Appreciation - 6/18/02

Fire Battalion Chief Rider submitted to the committee and idea that had been visited before. He was awarded a certificate for his initiative and motivation of resurfacing the idea. The idea "first responder fee" was presented to the Fire Department.

Team Based Award
Mariano Caro, Richard Griffith, Jr., Michael Kuddes and James Oates (not pictured-William Kandarian)
Fire Department
$100.00 Award Each - 6/18/02

Mr. Oates, Mr. Kuddes, Mr. Kandarian, Mr. Griffith Jr., and Mr. Caro submitted a "Team Based" idea of using oil sample analysis, which is provided by the vendor at no additional cost to extend the oil replacement portion of the preventive maintenance to once a year instead of twice a year. The Fire Department will be able to save $50 in labor costs, $91 for the cost of the oil, and one hour of down-time for each fire truck and pumper engine once a year per (31) units. Savings is $4,371 and one hour of downtime for the emergency response vehicles. The team was awarded $100.00 each for their $4,371 cost-saving idea.

Team Based Award
Richard Vasquez and Jack Wong
GSD/Fleet Management Division
$100 Award Each - 10/21/03

The Police Department received a safety recall of 180 patrol vehicles by the Ford Company. Although the repairs were of no charge, costs in the amount of $12,000 would have been incurred if the vehicles had to be towed to Lithia Ford. Charges were based on a $30 per vehicle towing costs. All repairs were completed within 10 days on site. If the vehicles had to be towed to Lithia Ford, the repairs to complete all vehicles would have placed the Police vehicles out of service for 2 months.

Team Based Award
David Wilky and Mark Gable
GSD/Fleet Management Division
$2,000 Award Each - 10/21/03

Mr. Wilky and Mr. Gable, in a team-based effort, designed an articulating arm, which has a value-operating device mounted on the arm. The arm is mounted in the rear of the truck and has an 180-degree turning radius. The 180-degree radius allows the arm to move in several directions, and three to four valves can now be accessed without moving the truck. Their idea provided a savings and benefit by eliminating one Water System Operator from a two-person operation to a one-person operation. The committee agreed that efficiency has been increased as well as safety. A typical Water System Operator’s base salary is $3,513 per month. Yearly savings is approximately $42,161 per year.