Broward County Receives Five National Association of Counties Achievement Awards for Innovation and Efficiency

DATE: July 1, 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: Ric Barrick, Assistant Director
Office of Public Communications
PHONE: 954-357-6990

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Broward County has received five Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo), which recognizes innovation in county government programs. NACo is the only national organization that represents County governments in the United States and recognizes county government initiatives that improve service delivery, achieve greater cost efficiency, provide enhanced customer service and help develop a better trained workforce.

“I am always so proud of how well Broward County is honored on a national level, particularly with projects that have such positive community impact. These awards not only represent the best of Broward, but the best in the country in making communities a better place to live,” said Bertha Henry, Broward County administrator.

Awards are given in 21 different categories, including children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, environmental protection, information technology, health and many more. Broward County’s award-winning programs for 2014 are:

Drive-Through Tax Kiosk (Records, Taxes and Treasury Division)
During Broward County’s tax season, which runs annually from November 1 to March 31, the Records, Taxes and Treasury Division identifies specific dates to offer a “Drive-Through Tax Kiosk.” The program is a convenient drive-up service for taxpayers to pay their property taxes without leaving their cars. This service saves customers from waiting in long lines, and processes nearly 1,000 transactions each tax season the kiosk is offered.

Broward Countywide Reuse Master Plan and Implementation Strategy (Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division )
Broward County’s Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division is responsible for countywide water resource planning and management initiatives supporting the Countywide Integrated Water Resources Plan (IWRP). Developed in partnership with Broward’s diverse water management community, the IWRP coordinates sources and users of water for effective and efficient water management. The Broward Countywide Reuse Master Plan and Implementation Strategy, an IWRP initiative, provides a long-term foundation for planned wastewater infrastructure improvements by seeking efficiencies through a cross-section of planned public works projects. It provides funding, technical support and management in a coordinated plan for the development of cost-effective, wastewater reuse. This project engaged the active participation of local municipalities, water managers, water and wastewater utilities, and state and regional agencies. The Countywide Reuse Master Plan and Implementation Strategy includes a user-friendly data-driven planning tool to aid identification, assessment and ranking of potential multijurisdictional projects, supported by a regional infrastructure database and scenario testing using Google Earth visualizations. The Implementation Strategy supports ongoing coordination among the County’s 31 municipalities with grant funds as incentive for project development. This effort positions the County’s municipalities and utilities to be more competitive for project funding and successful in delivering sustainable water supplies.

Go Green Seal of Sustainability (Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division)
Broward County has a long history of protecting our environment, supporting a viable economy and improving the quality of life for its residents and visitors. Environment, economy and community mark the triple bottom line of sustainability. Every project Broward County undertakes has the potential to address sustainability in different ways, from the construction of the new courthouse to shifting to a paperless environment for employee paychecks, which can serve the people, the planet and save money. The Go Green Seal of Sustainability program identifies initiatives that provide better government today to help ensure the future of Broward County’s environment, economy and community. The program is used to gather the County’s qualifying green programs and projects under a single brand to highlight the County sustainability efforts, to demonstrate to the public the County’s commitment to sustainable operation, and to spread a culture of sustainability. The Go Green Seal of Sustainability program offers agencies an opportunity to associate the “go green footprint” logo with their sustainability projects, as a seal of sustainability. The program encourages all departments, divisions and employees to think about how their efforts meet the triple bottom line.

John U. Lloyd Beach State Park Dune Restoration Pilot Project (Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division)
The Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division is responsible for developing and implementing Broward County’s beach management program. With an increasing awareness of the impacts of severe weather and sea level rise on coastal erosion, the County has sought to expand the integration of sand dunes in our regional shore protection strategy while also raising community awareness about the importance of these natural features to community resilience. This project was undertaken as a piloted demonstration of a partnership strategy in regional dune conservation and restoration, and involved collaboration with Broward County, Keep Broward Beautiful, the Florida Park Service and the Youth Environmental Alliance, a local non-profit organization. The goal of the project was to demonstrate the power of partnership and community engagement in the restoration of sand dunes in John U. Lloyd Beach State Park. The involvement of community youth would foster a sense of personal accomplishment and awareness of the importance of environmental stewardship, and help instill an appreciation for shoreline resilience strategies. The project was funded by a 2013 Keep America Beautiful/Waste Management ThinkGreen® Grant. The pilot project has received strong community support and serves as a model for program development.

Leadership Roundtable (Human Resources Division, Learning and Organizational Development Section)
The higher up the ladder one goes the more challenging the priorities. Broward County's Human Resources Learning and Organizational Development (LOD) team recognized that managers had difficulty in overcoming work priorities to fulfill self-development opportunities. LOD needed to offer alternative learning methods for managers to receive training to support their professional growth. Formal classroom training was no longer a preferred choice while computer-based learning limited interaction with other managers. In August 2012, LOD kicked off a yearlong pilot program focused on customized, self-directed, Leadership Roundtable events. Twenty-five leaders were invited to participate in five smaller cohort learning groups. Each group had representation from different divisions throughout the County, offering a welcoming learning environment among new peers. The group expectations were to meet at least quarterly, to identify specific learning interests and share ideas with colleagues. With guidance from the LOD team, internally certified facilitators managed the small group meeting process. As a result, leadership skills were enhanced, networking relationships were developed, and ideas and resources were exchanged. Participants completed the yearlong learning event asking for more and curious how the process will continue. Most importantly, these managers have made learning a priority once again.

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