Program Excellence Award for Outstanding Partnerships: Intergovernmental Cooperation

Article excerpt

POPULATIONS GREATER THAN 50,000

Another 2003 Program Excellence Award for Intergovernmental Cooperation in the greater-than-50,000 population category goes to the Town of Parker, Colorado, and Town Manager Aden Hogan, Jr.; the County of Douglas, Colorado, and County Administrator Douglas DeBord; and the Town of Castle Rock, Colorado, and Town Manager Mark Stevens for the Douglas County Partnership of Governments.

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For several years, Douglas County, Colorado (pop. 207, 465), has been ranked as the fastest-growing county in the United States. But as the county's phenomenal growth created challenges for all of its local governments, those governments recognized that the challenges they faced were similar and that much more could be accomplished together than individually. Hence, the Partnership of Douglas County Governments was organized to bring senior staff and elected officials together from all jurisdictions for the purpose of strengthening relationships, sharing the resources of its diverse membership, and discovering opportunities to work together on projects that are of importance to the region.

Although the partnership is just over a year old, its activities have led to considerable cost savings for the county and its municipalities, improved operations and programming efficiency, and enhanced service to its citizens. The regional emergency management plan developed by the partnership, for example, proved critical in the 2002 fire season, when one of the largest wildfires in Colorado history raged in Douglas County. As part of this plan, a three-hour training session was delivered for all jurisdictions, contributing to a sound understanding of the process that should be used to deal with regional incidents. Various land use intergovernmental agreements have also been reached by partnership members, and cooperative work has been undertaken on both a multijurisdictional housing authority and an environmental plan based on requirements related to the Endangered Species Act. …