Fort Wayne, IN- Fort Wayne has been recognized as the No. 1 Public Works Department in the country by Public Works Magazine. Mayor Graham Richard and Public Works Director Bob Kennedy received the award today at photo shoot and brief ceremony held at the site of the Park-Thompson Flood Control Project (former site of ARC of Allen County). Mayor Richard and Kennedy were joined by Interim City Utilities Director Len Poehler and several Public Works and Utilities department managers and staff. Stephanie Johnston, Editor in Chief of Public Works Magazine, presented the award to Mayor Richard. The Park-Thompson project is one of the key projects in the Stormwater Drainage and Flooding Master Plan Program. This program was the highlight in the submission for the award.
Each year for the past three years, Public Works Magazine has sponsored a nation-wide competition recognizing the top public works department in the country that epitomizes a successful and superior working environment. Evaluated by a jury of representatives from the public works industry and the editors of Public Works Magazine, the winning department should have a highly qualified staff, a diverse workforce and a functional arrangement that encourages innovation and communication between its engineers, technicians and staff members. Further, the department must be able to demonstrate the ability to meet its budgets, provide for the safety of personnel in various working environments, offer convenient communication with citizens and stakeholders and provide training and continuing education opportunities for its employees.
Among the judges' comments:
- “This is by far the best and most complete submittal. The quality of this department is a benchmark for all departments ' public or private.”
- “Other departments can look to this department for mentoring.”
- “This submittal makes one want to relocate to Fort Wayne! Impressive organization all the way through.”
- “Definitely the 'cream of the crop' in regard to department submittals for 2007.”
“This is a great honor for the City of Fort Wayne and a well-deserved recognition of the commitment, dedication and hard work of all of our Public Works employees” said Mayor Richard. “Under the leadership of former director Greg Meszaros and Bob Kennedy, the Division of Public Works and Utilities continues to provide timely, excellent and cost-effective service to residents.”
“Every Indiana community struggles with less revenue from the state and increasing demands for public services” stated Bob Kennedy. “In Fort Wayne, those challenges are combined with the fact that our community has grown by 40% in the last eight years and the fact that our Division's headcount is the lowest since 2000. The Division of Public Works has focused on the use of technology and found innovative ways to increase productivity and efficiency to successfully meet those challenges.”
Mayor Richard, Kennedy, and staff will appear on the cover of the December 2007 issue of Public Works Magazine.