With 3,069 counties in America, comparisons and rankings are inevitable. I like to say Gwinnett County sets the standard for local government, and the dozens of awards we win every year support that assertion. I’d like to use this space to share some of the latest honors.
As an example, our Water Resources department was ranked highest in the South region and earned the highest customer satisfaction index ranking in the United States in J.D. Power’s survey of U.S. water utilities. In the 2018 survey, 88 water utilities across the nation were ranked using six primary factors: delivery, price, conservation, billing and payment, communications, and customer service.
The National Association of Counties invites county governments to submit new, innovative initiatives each year, and the judges pick the best in various categories. This year’s winners included three from Water Resources for innovative septic tank education, watershed cleanups, and the Ostara nutrient recovery process, a clean technology initiative that converts a byproduct from the wastewater treatment process into environmentally friendly fertilizer.
The National Association of County Information Officers honored Gwinnett County for the Gwin-nett County Overview, a fast-paced video introduction to county government; Budget in Brief external publication; graphic design for the annual multicultural festival; photography; and the previously mentioned Bicentennial website.
A fourth competition, the Digital Counties Survey, gave Gwinnett second-place nationally for our use of data and technology – up from 7th place in our population category last year. They noted new features such as interactive online public transit maps, a responsive tax portal for online bill pay, and self-service kiosks where residents can renew auto tags 24/7.
At a recent Board meeting, my fellow commissioners and I publicly thanked all the employees who worked on these projects. Their dedication to quality truly makes Gwinnett shine.