SANTA MARIA, CA - The City of Santa Maria recognized Fleet Services Supervisor Robert "Bob" Mathews of the Department of Public Works as a recipient of its "Going the Extra Mile" (GEM) Award at the May 18 City Council meeting.

Mathews will reach 26 years with the City in September.

With the goal of reducing City costs, Mathews took the initiative to reconsider fleet asset management procedures and vehicle purchase schedules. He recognized this extra effort was essential because the economy's downturn severely impacted City revenues.

Through his analysis, fleet procurement and budget process procedures were revised and were implemented in the 2008-10 City budget. They also will contribute significantly to the proposed 2010-12 budget. In the past two years, these revisions resulted in $5.5 million in cost reductions. In the proposed 2010-12 budget, they will decrease the financial impact by $5.3 million. All City departments benefit as a result.

Through their aggressive vehicle maintenance program, and thorough safety and condition inspections of each City vehicle, Mathews and his staff are prolonging the life of City vehicles. As a result, fewer vehicles require replacement.

The City's criteria for the GEM Award are: Exhibiting effective leadership on specific assignments; demonstrating positive service to a customer or co-worker; going "above and beyond" the call of duty; showing special initiative, creativity, teamwork, cost containment efforts and entrepreneurial spirit in providing a high level of customer service; and consistently embracing the City's service standards.