News just in, the Milwaukee County Parks recently received the 2009 National Gold Medal for Excellence for distinguished programs and services. Below is a copy of Scott Walker's press release.
"MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker is proud to announce today that the Milwaukee County Parks Department has won the 2009 National Gold Medal for Excellence in the Park and Recreation Management Program. The National Gold Medal Award is the most prestigious and highly esteemed award a park and recreation agency can receive. Milwaukee County Park’s Director Sue Black accepted the award at the National Recreation and Parks Congress & Exposition in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“This is outstanding news and reflects the hard work of the dedicated staff in the parks department and the importance of the community and corporate partnerships we have,” said Walker. “Our parks are a source of enjoyment for the entire community, and this Gold Medal recognition showcases our pride in our parks to the nation.”
Finalists and winners of the National Gold Medal are selected each year by a distinguished panel of leaders from the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration and the National Recreation and Park Association from submissions from all 50 states."
We can safely count this as one more piece of evidence that Walker's fiscal restraint and operational efficiency does not impede the quality management of county services. Scott Walker has managed to run program after program with proficiency, and this is not exactly the first time that Milwaukee County has been recognized for excellence.
The Milwaukee County Transit, for example, received high marks in a state audit that said it delivered more rides for less cost, had the lowest per passenger cost, and the highest ridership per capita when compared to neighboring transit systems.
Another example is the Mitchell International Airport, owned by Milwaukee County, which had 17 months of record growth. The Mitchell International Airport is funded almost entirely by user fees saving taxpayers millions. Just recently, renown travel expert Chris Elliott rated Mitchell Airport as the number one least expensive destination for Autumn travel beating out major airports like the Denver International Airport, the Kansas City International Airport, the Baltimore-Washington International Airport, and the Tampa International Airport.
And of course, let's not forget those programs that service the needy. Milwaukee County's Behavior Health Division just won the 2009 Annie E. Casey Award for it's "Wrap Around" program. This award was given by Harvard University for innovative government reform. All of these 2009 recognition/awards demonstrate that Scott Walker has an administrative legacy worth bragging about.