July 2, 2012 - [MARICOPA COUNTY] A Maricopa County parks program giving home-schooled children outdoor science educational experiences has been selected as a top national winner and one of 33 Maricopa County excellence awards announced by the National Association of Counties (NACO).
With 33 awards, Maricopa County was one of the three most honored counties in the nation. Among the cited programs was the renovation of the Santa Fe Freight Depot as an office, a summer youth civics training program and several programs to reduce recidivism among youth and adult offenders.
The Clerk of the Superior Court’s office garnered three awards for its innovative technology programs to increase efficiency, reduce paperwork and enhance service. These include mandatory e-filing by attorneys in civil cases, electronic transmission of records to the state Supreme and Appeals courts and the development of an online court records system.
“This is one more acknowledgement of how well our county employees are doing,” said Supervisor Max Wilson, chairman of the board. “NACO is a good measure of how we compare with county governments, large and small, across the country. Obviously, we’re doing very well. “
The Usery Mountain Regional Park Home School Program received a Best of Category award, the highest award, in the parks and recreation category. The program is a partnership between the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department and the Arizona Science Center that focuses on meeting the needs of the home school community by combining traditional classroom instruction with outdoor interpretive programs. Programs are geared towards youth between the ages of six and ten years old and consist of a wide variety of topics, including desert plants, rocks, the water cycle and other natural phenomenon. To date, more than 400 students have attended these programs.
The awards will be formally presented at the annual NACO Conference July 15. Maricopa County winners will be honored at an 8:30 a.m. Aug. 16 reception in the Board of Supervisors’ Conference Room.
The Air Quality Department was recognized for its Rapid Response Notification System, developed last year to provide immediate alerts when any station in the air monitoring network detects elevated levels of particulate pollution. Once alerted, businesses, residents and partnering agency stakeholders can help to maintain compliance with air quality standards by stabilizing loose dirt in their respective area or even halting dust-generating operations during an alert period. This public-private partnership effort involves over 5020 participants to date. Sign up for a Rapid Response Notification on the Air Quality Department’s website www.maricopa.gov/aq.
“At at time when public employees are a convenient political scapegoat, this is a great recognition of the important services they provide and the excellent quality in which they perform,” commented Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox.
The full list of county winners include:
1. "Setting the PACE" for Measuring Diversity Management
2. 209 West Jackson Street-Integrated Supportive House
3. Bell Road Intelligent Transportation System
4. Budgeting for Results Budget Balancing Initiative
5. C2C (Court-2-Court)
6. CASA Peer Coordinator Program
7. CASA Website
8. Cities and Towns Acquisition Assistance Program
9. ECR Online (Remote Party Access)
10. Field Probation Officer Performance Evaluation
11. Flood Control District Employee Enhancement Program
12. GIS Geospatial Allocation System
13. GIS/Public Redistricting Interface
14. Global Postcard Exchange for Kids & Teens
15. In-House Restoration Education Program
16. Inmate Organ Donor Program
17. Innovation & Collaboration Program
18. Mandatory eFiling
19. Maricopa County Teen Leadership Experience Program
20. Notes from the Underground Teen Band Program
21. Office of the Public Fiduciary, Exploitation of Vulnerable Adults Investigation
22. Office Sustainability Empowerment Tool (OffSET)
23. Pavement Management Program of Maricopa County DOT
24. Project SAFE: Improving Outcomes of Transferred Juveniles on Adult Probation
25. Pushbutton Landscape Inventory and Analysis
26. Rapid Response Notification System
27. Regional Access Point Program
28. Santa Fe Freight Depot Adaptive Reuse
29. Steering Clear of Steers
30. The Legacy Project: A Collaborative Approach to Reducing Recidivism
31. Training the Best Environmental Health Specialists!
32. Vendor Registration Program
33. Usery Mountain Home School Programs, Best of Category Award