Recently, Leon County Government received seven national awards recognizing outstanding county programs and services. The National Association of Counties (NACo) presented Achievement Awards to Leon County in categories ranging from Parks and Recreation to Information Technology. NACo’s awards recognize how Leon County provides the most cost-effective, high-quality service to citizens.
“For the Board of County Commissioners, it’s great to see local services and programs become national benchmarks for success,” said Leon County Commission Chairman Kristin Dozier. “By engaging citizens on issues that matter to them, we’re ensuring our programs and services are effective and relevant.”
This year, the following Leon County Government programs and services received awards:
• Apalachee Regional Park: Premier Cross Country Running Facility in the category of Parks and Recreation,
• Promoting Transparency: The Leon County Website in the category of Information Technology,
• Leon County Sustainable Demonstration Center in the category of Environmental Protection and Energy,
• Operation Thank You – Honoring our Veterans in the category of Human Services,
• 2013 Annual Report in the category of Civic Education and Public Information,
• Live Well LEON: Small Choices. Big Change in the category of Personnel Management Employee Training & Benefits, and
• Press the Chest CPR Training in the category of Emergency Management and Response.
“We are so proud to see the hard work of Leon County employees recognized at the national level,” said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long. “These awards speak to the culture of our organization which, even in the most difficult times, has been driven to be a model 21st century local government that our people believe in and others benchmark against.”
Leon County’s Apalachee Regional Park was redeveloped to meet a community need, while maintaining good stewardship of public dollars. The redevelopment created a sporting event destination that has allowed Leon County to host local, state and national cross country events. These events will promote tourism and generate business for local establishments.
To enhance the community’s access to local government, Leon County redesigned its website to promote transparency, accountability and performance results. But technology is not all about the Internet.
Through the use of sustainable energy and water technologies, combined with educational outreach, Leon County transformed a 50-year-old building into a state-of-the-art Sustainable Demonstration Center. The center has been certified as a net-zero facility by the New Buildings Institute, becoming one of only seven retrofitted buildings in the nation with this distinction and the only local government facility.
Leon County continued to help citizens and improve human services with community-wide events. Operation Thank You helped the County forge strong partnerships with veteran groups in the community, allowing Leon County Veteran Services to better serve the thousands of veterans and their families in the community.
The annual Press the Chest community training, hosted by Leon County Emergency Medical Services, exposed approximately four hundred citizens to lifesaving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training. Through proper education, residents can perform life-saving techniques on family, friends and bystanders in the community to help until medical professionals arrive.
These national awards recognize not only effective services, but highlight the successes of Leon County Government despite a downturn in the economy. During the Great Recession, local government managed not only to reduce the budget, but also exceed expectations with key infrastructure projects and citizen engagement. Leon County remains committed to strengthening what works, abandoning what does not, receiving citizen feedback, leveraging partnerships and listening to changing needs.
Founded in 1970, the annual NACo Achievement Award Program is an award series that recognizes innovative county government programs that increase services to county residents.
For more information, contact Cristina Paredes, Leon County Intergovernmental Affairs & Special Projects Coordinator, at (850) 606-5300 / ParedesC@LeonCountyFL.gov or Jon D. Brown, Director of Leon County Community and Media Relations, at (850) 606-5300 / cmr@LeonCountyFL.gov .