RICHMOND (August 1, 2016)—The Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) is pleased to announce the 29 recipients of the 2016 Achievement Awards recognizing model local government programs. VACo received 91 submissions.
This year a number of the winning entries focused on impacting the community and enhancing the lives of citizens.
“We are excited to announce the 2016 winners, and I want to thank all who participated,” said Dean Lynch, VACo Executive Director. “This is the 14th year of the Achievement Awards Program, and we couldn’t be more proud of the innovative work done by our member counties. It seems we are faced with more complex challenges every year, but Virginia’s counties have found creative ways to overcome them.”
Tedd Povar, Associate Director of the Virginia Institute of Government; William Quarles, former Goochland County Supervisor; and Linda Lumpkin, retired Essex County Deputy County Administrator, served as judges for this year’s statewide competitive awards program.
The judges selected three submissions as Best Achievement Finalists and then chose one as the overall winner. The 2016 Best Achievement Award goes to King and Queen County for its Broadband Internet Program. This is what Lumpkin had to say about King and Queen County’s submission.
“As long-time public servants and residents of the region, we understand the challenges of getting broadband to rural communities,” Lumpkin said. “After regional attempts were unsuccessful, King and Queen persevered and acquired this coveted service for its citizens. What an awesome accomplishment and inspiration to the rest of us!”
Povar said he’s encouraged by the creativity counties showed to find solutions. “I’ve been fortunate enough to judge around 250 submissions over the past three years,” Povar said. “That’s a lot of innovative programs. The future is bright if this is an indication of the resourcefulness of county staff and leadership. I’m inspired by the good work done by Virginia’s counties.”
Quarles hopes county leaders and division heads review all the entries because he thinks many of the programs can be replicated. “The great thing about the VACo Achievement Awards is that the program can be used as an educational tool,” Quarles said. “There are real solutions to problems most counties face. I encourage county leaders and staff to check out how other counties are doing it and to contact them. I believe sharing ideas and solutions are the true benefits of the Achievement Awards.”
Arlington County, King George County, Lancaster County, Middlesex County and Warren County were first-time winners. Chesterfield County tops the all-time Achievement Awards list with 22. Loudoun County is second with 18 while Henrico County is third with 17.
The VACo Achievement Awards is a competitive program open to local government members of the association. VACo will present awards at Board of Supervisors meetings and recognize award-winning counties at the 2016 Annual Conference in November.