ATLANTA, Ga. (July 20, 2010) – The Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) congratulates Camden, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Whitfield counties for receiving a 2010 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The annual NACo Achievement Award Program is a non-competitive awards program that recognizes innovative county government programs. The recipients were honored at NACo’s 2010 Annual Conference and Exposition.
“ACCG has long worked with county officials to enhance the role, stature and responsiveness of county government in Georgia,” says ACCG Executive Director Ross King. “We are proud to see Georgia counties gain national attention for their efforts to provide outstanding programs and services to their communities.”
Begun in 1970, the NACo Achievement Award Program recognizes unique county programs in categories such as arts and historic preservation, children and youth, community and economic development, jails-corrections, county administration, emergency management, environmental protection, health, human services, libraries, parks and recreation, transportation and volunteers.
Camden County received two Achievement Awards for the programs, Going Green-Saving Green and STEMI – Saving Lives in the Field. In these tough economic times, Camden County continues to demonstrate environmentally friendly choices while saving over $1.7 million. STEMI, only one of three programs like it in Georgia, provides the best chance for survival for advanced cardiac victims and is improving health care by expanding cardiac arrest treatment at no cost to taxpayers.
Cobb County’s program was ranked best by NACo in the Children and Youth category. The Cobb County Safety Village, built on an eight acre site, is a reduced-scale representation of the community where instructors share the most advanced techniques and ideas for making the community safer and children are able to receive their state-mandated fire-safety training at a central location.
ONE DeKalb, the Office of Neighborhood Empowerment, was developed by the administration of DeKalb County Chief Executive Office Burrell Ellis in 2009 to create a more responsive and people-centered government, better organized neighborhoods leading to sustainable development, and better informed and engaged citizens.
Fulton County was recognized for programs in the Children and Youth, Health, and Volunteer categories. The Global Youth Leadership Program coordinated by the Human Services Department’s Division of Children & Youth prepares Fulton County youth leaders to compete with their international counterparts creating opportunities for students to travel and develop a global perspective. The Neighborhood Union Health Center (NUHC) is a multi-discipline “one-stop shop” health center which integrates primary care, behavioral health, public health and human services at the Neighborhood Union Health Center. It is designed with the objectives to increase access to care, reduce unnecessary visits to the emergency room and to decrease health disparities in Fulton County. The Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library Children’s Letter Writing Campaign offers young library patrons an opportunity to practice their writing skills by composing letters of support to children of deployed military personnel. The program was developed as a way to connect with President Obama’s United We Serve initiative, a national focus on volunteerism, and is recognized as best in the Volunteer category.
Gwinnett County was awarded for its innovative programs in Environmental Protection and County Administration. Gwinnett County’s Floodplain Management Program goes well beyond minimum standards to balance economic development and floodplain management while maintaining water quality in our rivers and streams. Its Continuous Improvement Program evaluates processes and identifies areas for improvement. The result is greater efficiency with a less labor-intensive process for our staff, better response time for citizens, and to maintain or provide better services for county residents at less cost.
Whitfield County’s Civil War Driving Tour of Dalton-Whitfield County received recognition in the category of Arts and Historic Preservation for the county’s efforts to generate historical awareness and local development. The program not only stimulates the local economy by tapping into Georgia’s lucrative heritage tourism industry but transforms history into an interactive experience for local students and visitors.
According to the NACo, “Counties are the governments of the future. They are innovative and progressive, creating a variety of programs to meet the needs of their citizens.” Furthermore, the efforts of these county government programs support the mission of the ACCG to promote the ability of Georgia counties to provide public services responsibly, efficiently, and cost effectively.