Life, Well Run is ICMA’s initiative to raise awareness of and appreciation for the value professional managers bring to build ethical, efficient, effective local government. One of the best ways to accomplish this goal has been through sharing Success Stories that demonstrate the on-the-ground impact professional managers and their staffs bring to their communities.
Our latest success story features waste management innovations by Wheaton, Illinois. With its waste hauler contract scheduled to expire, the city recognized the opportunities to embrace more efficient and cost-effective strategies to serve the community. After considerable amount of community outreach, the city selected a new company that could provide residents with a pay-as-you-throw model that also incorporated food scrap collection for compost.
Further east in Niles, Illinois, local government took a stand against destructive flood waters after a 2008 storm overwhelmed local and regional sewer systems, causing $1.5 million in damage and prompting a federal disaster designation. Working with regional and federal partners, and led by now Village Manager Steve Vinezeano, the village created a stormwater commission and robust Stormwater Relief Program that has resulted in the largest infrastructure project in the village’s history.
And finally, Sierra Vista, Arizona, demonstrates the value of intergovernmental partnership and professional management in addressing a city-county service vacuum. Over the years, resistance to annexation resulted in county “islands” – areas surrounded entirely by incorporated city limits but fragmented from county services. Absent a local government presence, these areas became known for high-crime rates and property deterioration. Working in partnership, the city and county developed a strategy to annex a problematic area that has created community support toward further annexation that would increase resources and public service to these communities.
Does your community have a story of a successful manager-led initiative? Let us know by sending details to email@example.com!