MML Showcases Community Innovations To Celebrate Local Government Week
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Missouri Municipal League Showcases Community Innovations
To Celebrate Local Government Week
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri celebrates Local Government Week April 14-20, 2019. The week is an ideal time to learn more about how local government serves each citizen in your community every day.
Working together, your cities, counties and schools are the backbone of your community.
“Local government is closest to the people,” said Dan Ross, executive director of the Missouri Municipal League. “It makes what you love most about your community happen, such as your schools, parks or local downtown. Local government also ensures your quality of life through services you may not think about, like clean tap water or repaired streets.”
As part of Local Government Week, MML is showcasing the winners of the 2019 Innovation Awards. These awards honor great projects happening in communities across Missouri that enhance the quality of life for Missouri cities. Awards are based on city population size, with the exception of a Member’s Choice award, where MML members vote for their favorite project regardless of city size.
This year’s winners are:
City of Springfield (Extra Large City, with population more than 30,000)
Give 5 Civic Matchmaking Program
The Give 5 program is a first-of-its-kind “civic matchmaking” initiative with the following objectives: connect each program graduate with one or more strategic volunteer opportunities in the community that feeds his/her passion and provides a renewed sense of purpose and meaning (“civic matchmaking”); address social isolation; strengthen the community’s fabric by increasing “bridging” social capital in the community; help program graduates discover the community legacy he/she wants to leave; and re-engineer volunteer opportunities to make them more meaningful.
The Give 5 program has been underway for more than one year and has been very successful in achieving program goals. We are preparing to graduate our seventh class, and each of these objectives is being achieved to a greater degree as each class graduates and begins volunteering in our community. The Give 5 program is a partnership between the City of Springfield, Greene County, and United Way of the Ozarks.
City of Nixa (Large City, with population 15,000 -30,000)
Staff Think Tank
The idea for the Think Tank was born at a City leadership retreat in June 2017. In August 2017, the Think Tank Coordinator was assigned, and the committee officially launched in September 2017.
The Think Tank represents a bottom-up approach to problem solving and is on the cutting edge of current leadership trends. The Think Tank concept bridges the efforts of top-level leadership with line level and mid-level employees to work together on large-scale issues. Discussions within Think Tank allow employees to practice critical thinking on higher level issues than may normally apply to their job description. Think Tank is an innovative approach to fostering open communication. It better prepares the City for the future by engaging staff in the discussion to address emerging issues. Also, the younger generations in the work force highly value being involved in decision-making processes and understanding the “why” behind the responsibilities assigned to them.
City of Lebanon (Medium, with population 5,000 – 15,000)
Fire Department Safety and Education
Public safety is a primary responsibility of every level of government in any community. The Lebanon Fire Department Safety and Education project works to improve life safety directly related to home fires. The primary intent is to ensure there are working smoke detectors in every home within the City of Lebanon. The project expanded to include providing carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and bailout ladders. Project development involved members of the community donating funds to purchase smoke detectors. The Lebanon City Council passed an ordinance to establish the project while committing to matching funds to support efforts. Members of the Lebanon Fire Department are the hands-on part of this project. They install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, conduct public education sessions, and deliver ladders and fire extinguishers when requested.
City of Fair Grove (Small category, with populations less than 5,000; Also, Member’s Choice winner)
Inexpensive Geographic Information System
Fair Grove needed an inexpensive geographic information system (GIS) to maintain infrastructure records and maps. The City needed to replace paper plans, GPS-generated wall maps and field books with computer/smart phone accessible maps. At the suggestion of the Missouri Rural Water Association Circuit Rider, Diamond Maps was contacted. The organization provided a low-cost solution to digitize infrastructure records, maps and construction plans. The GIS system is shared over the internet with city offices, Public Water Supply District No. 5, Fair Grove Fire Protection District, Fair Grove Planning and Zoning, and others including residents, developers and contractors on an as-needed basis. In the field, city employees can access construction and as-built plans, every fire hydrant inspection and flow test, maintenance records, photo documentation and memorization of sewer and water line repairs. New water meters no longer require an outside GPS survey, but during the interim can be accurately pinned on the base map in the field.
Missouri’s Local Government Week is sponsored by the following local government organizations:
Missouri Municipal League, www.mocities.com
Missouri Association of Counties, www.mocounties.com
Missouri School Boards’ Association, www.msbanet.org
Missouri Association of Councils of Government, www.macogonline.org
Municipal League of Metro St. Louis, www.stlmuni.org
Mid-America Regional Council, www.marc.org
Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System, www.molagers.org