This year's annual Salute to Local Government awards breakfast - held at the Italian Conference Center on June 25 and attended by more than 450 people - showed that the principles of data-driven decision-making and collaboration are alive and well in southeast Wisconsin's local governments and school districts.
This year's group winners included a village government in Milwaukee County that uses a long-range financial plan to guide all fiscal decision-making; a Waukesha County school district that employs data from a Balanced Scorecard approach to improve educational outcomes; a collaboration of local, county, state, and public university officials that overcame substantial obstacles to build a new research park in Wauwatosa; and a county government and local friends group that joined forces to reconstruct and re-open a valued community pool. On the individual side, winners include two of our region's foremost champions of intergovernmental cooperation.
"The beauty of the Salute is the opportunity it provides to put aside political differences for one morning and pay tribute to public sector accomplishment," says Forum President Rob Henken. "No matter how one plans to vote in the election for governor, or where one stands on public sector pay and benefits, this is our opportunity to agree that we all benefit from efficient government services, and that those who excel in their provision and administration deserve our recognition and praise."
The Salute breakfast was sponsored this year by Baker Tilly; BMO Harris Bank; Ehlers & Associates, Inc.; Helen Bader Foundation; Milwaukee Public Television; Northwestern Mutual Foundation; Potawatomi Bingo Casino; Quarles & Brady, LLP; Veolia Water; and We Energies.
The full list of 2014 Salute award recipients and the video vignettes describing them can be accessed at: http://publicpolicyforum.org/2014-salute-winners