Virginia Counties Recognized for Model Programs

August 1, 2013

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The Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) is pleased to announce the 12 recipients of the 2013 Achievement Awards recognizing model local government programs.

The winning counties, program titles and categories are:

BEST ACHIEVEMENT AWARDOrange County: “Project M.I.T.I” (Criminal Justice/Public Safety)

Chesterfield County: “Moving Forward… The Comprehensive Plan for Chesterfield County” (Community/Economic Development)

Gloucester County: “Public Library + Emergency Services = Stay Informed, Make a Plan, Get a Kit!” (Criminal Justice/Public Safety)

Greensville County: “Washington Park Community Improvement Program, Phase I, II, III” (Community/Economic Development)

Henrico County: “Comprehensive School Safety Audit Process” (Criminal Justice/Public Safety)

Henrico County: “Museum Collection Management Program Database Documentation” (Parks and Recreation)

Loudoun County: “Loudoun Targets Lyme” (Health/Human Services)

Mathews County: “Improving EMS Response Times in a Rural County” (Criminal Justice/Public Safety)

Orange County: “A Collaboration of Mutual Benefit: Orange County’s ‘Coffeewood Canines’ Training Program” (Regional Collaboration)

Roanoke County: “Walrond Park Trail Project” (Parks and Recreation)

Stafford County: “311: Providing More Services with Limited Resources” (Customer Service)

York County: “Virtual PSAP” (Criminal Justice/Public Safety)

VACo received 38 entries with five winning in the Criminal Justice/Public Safety category.

Tedd Povar, associate director of the Virginia Institute of Government; George Drumwright, retired Henrico County deputy county manager for community services; and Wendy Wingo, former Botetourt County supervisor, served as judges for this year’s statewide competitive awards program.

“This is the 11th year of the Achievement Awards program, and the level of competition keeps improving,” said James Campbell, VACo executive director. “Each entry deserves to win. But since we’re a competitive program, only the best will receive an award. I’d like to thank our judges for their commitment and expertise. Their task to pick winners was not as easy one.”

The judges selected one submission as the “Best Achievement.” The winner of this year’s distinction is Orange County. Here’s what Drumwright had to say about Orange County’s entry titled “Project M.I.T.I.”

“Orange County’s Department of Fire and EMS, like other departments across the nation, have seen the number of volunteer firefighter and first responders decline,” Drumwright said. “To tackle this issue, Orange County used technology to address training needs and community awareness. This successful M.I.T.I. approach has been shared with 12 other EMS organizations and three other hospital groups. This is a low-cost, high-tech training approach.”

This was the ninth consecutive year Povar has served as judge. “It is my pleasure to continue my service to VACo in this capacity,” Povar said. “It is by no means a one-sided relationship. Judging the award submissions is enjoyable, enlightening and reinforces my conviction that the best in government resides at the local level.”

Wingo also raved about the quality of the entries. “Being a judge has been a rewarding and wonderful learning process,” Wingo said. “I was so impressed with the quality of the entries and pleased with the variety of Virginia county programs.”

The VACo Achievement Awards is a competitive program open to local government members of the association. For more information, visit VACo’s Achievement Awards website (http://vaco.org/membership/achievement-awards) where you can view all 2013 entries (http://vaco.org/membership/achievement-awards/2013-achievement-awards-entries).

Visit here for past winners and here for past judges.

Representatives from each of the award-winning counties will receive a certificate at an official ceremony during VACo’s 2013 Annual Conference in November. Also, VACo will present awards at Board of Supervisors meetings.

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