You may already be a winner
Fort Lauderdale was the final straw. The city sent in an entry blank for our annual Awards of Merit program. It was for a “re-engineering” type project within the water department, and it sounded like an effective and innovative way of dealing with the personnel issues that surround the provision of water.
We had to trash it. It didn’t fit into any of our neat little categories. It wasn’t “Water Supply” because it didn’t deal with the infrastructure (pipes, treatment plants, water meters) that is part and parcel of that local government function.
So we started re-thinking our awards program. A lot of what is happening out there in Local Governmentland deals not so much with the provision of service as with the provision of customer service. Our narrowly drawn awards program left us no way to acknowledge that fact.
So here’s the deal. The totally new and improved American City & County awards program is aimed at spotlighting not just your fabulous streetscape program but also the clever way you financed your fabulous streetscape program. Or the unique construction schedule that kept your fabulous streetscape program from irritating the local population. Or the fact that the people who paved the sidewalks as a part of your fabulous streetscape program drew rave reviews from the citizens.
In fact, your project doesn’t have to be about infrastructure at all, although we really like infrastructure. We realize that people can be as important to local government infrastructure as nuts and bolts, and this new awards program should reflect that.
We’re talking really little to really big. We’re calling it the America’s Crown Communities program. In our December issue, we will honor 10 communities that are doing the business of local government right. It doesn’t matter if your community is a one-stop sign village or a huge urban county. We don’t care whether you spent $15 million or $2.50 on your project.
Best of all, you’re not limited to a specific category. Maybe you’ve built a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant, or maybe you’ve just found a unique way to control tsetse flies in your parks. This baby is wide open.
You’ll find an entry blank in this issue on page 61. It will run every month until August. Don’t be shy. We know there are great things being done out there. It’s up to you to tell us where. C’mon. Brag a little.