Magazine article Public Management

Award for Excellence in Honor of Mark E. Keane

Magazine article Public Management

Award for Excellence in Honor of Mark E. Keane

Article excerpt

Established in honor of former ICMA Executive Director Mark E. Keane, the Award for Excellence recognizes an outstanding local government administrator who has enhanced the effectiveness of local government officials and consistently initiated creative and successful programs. Thomas C. Kelly, Ph.D., manager of Volusia County, Florida, is the 1994 recipient of this award.

In 1971, Dr. Kelly faced a daunting task. As Volusia County's first manager, his job was to oversee the county's transformation from the commission form to the council-manager form of government. Dr. Kelly quickly strengthened the base of the new government by improving its efficiency, economy, and responsiveness.

Still growing after a 68-percent increase in population between 1970 and 1983, today Volusia County is ranked among the nation's top 28 fastest growing metropolitan areas. Dr. Kelly developed the tools the county needed to manage this explosive growth, including the first subdivision regulations in the area, uniform zoning and stormwater management ordinances, and an award-winning strategy for reviewing the impact of development.

Dr. Kelly also earned respect for his creative approach to managing the county's finances during the trying fiscal period between 1971 and 1994. Under a charter provision for special taxing districts, Dr. Kelly developed a broad program to deliver services to unincorporated areas and ensure equitable funding. Recognizing Dr. Kelly's success, the Florida Legislature followed Volusia County's lead and in 1994 passed a general law to extend similar taxing authority to all Florida counties. …

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