Montgomery County has been recognized with two Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.
NACo recognized Montgomery County for two programs: XComms Group and the Animal Care and Adoption Center’s Return to Home Program.
“Our dedicated employees are committed to public service and work hard daily responding to opportunities and challenges in an effort to help our community be such a great place to both live and work,” said Montgomery County Administrator Craig Meadows.
“I’m proud of the innovative responses our employees have implemented to challenges they faced and the national recognition they earned as a result of those efforts.”
The XComms Group (short for Extended Communicators Group) promotes intergovernmental cooperation and collaboration, addressing internal and external communication needs and gaps. In July of 2021, the county’s public information office identified communication partners in various departments, along with Constitutional Offices and affiliated agencies to meet monthly and share potential story ideas and news items, as well as learn of upcoming news and stories. This allows all entities to support the various communication needs of Montgomery County, both internally and externally, by sharing news and stories through the various communication vehicles to which the group has access. The result has been an active and engaged XComms Group that is responsible for over 50 stories and news items either completed or currently in process, as well as new processes to enhance internal communication and overall efficiency within the county.
In 2021, the Animal Care and Adoption Center launched an online lost and found reporting service, which links to the center’s software and allows for more eyes on information and photos of found and missing animals more quickly. In turn, this increases the speed that animals are returned to their owners. As a result, there has been an increase in animals being returned to their owners by the finder, or by Animal Control using Animal Care and Adoption Center staff and the online reporting system as a facilitator.
NACo President Larry Johnson said, “All across the country, counties are working tirelessly to support residents and drive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This year's Achievement Award-winning programs showcase how counties work every day to build healthy, safe and thriving communities.”
Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.
Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.