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LETTERS: Engage Gwinnett was worth the effort

It has now been two years since we presented the final recommendations of the Engage Gwinnett Citizens Committee for the Future of Gwinnett County to the Board of Commissioners in April 2010. A year later, a follow-up project called the Excellence Through Innovation Task Force submitted recommendations showing how technology improvements could create efficiencies, increase productivity, expand partnerships, and create cost savings in the county government. As we look back on the accomplishments of Engage Gwinnett, we have no doubt they were worth the effort.

After considering every recommendation and reporting quarterly on the progress, Gwinnett County staff has prepared a final report and made it available on the Engage Gwinnett website, www.engagegwinnett.com. We thought you would like to know that the Board has accepted and acted on approximately 75 percent of the Engage Gwinnett suggestions and the remaining recommendations are still in progress. In addition, the County has already acted on about a third of the recommendations the Excellence Through Innovation task force submitted last year.

As Engage Gwinnett co-chairs, we want to formally thank the members of both committees for the time you contributed to research and deliberate solutions to the County's changing economic conditions. Like millions of homes and businesses throughout the nation, Gwinnett County was deeply affected by the global recession. But by taking time to study the issues, we were able to provide solid, transparent advice that clearly helped Gwinnett County Government increase efficiencies without making drastic service cuts.

As a direct result of this process, the county is now saving millions of dollars annually and has kept its coveted AAA credit ratings that will continue to lower borrowing costs in the years ahead. In addition to the economic benefits, operational efficiencies helped to reduce the need for more staff a somewhat less tangible result of our recommendations. We believe Gwinnett County Government is now well positioned as the economy begins to recover.

On behalf of the entire Engage Gwinnett committee, Excellence Through Innovation task force, and the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, we would like to thank Chairman Nash and the district commissioners, our other elected and constitutional officials, management, and staff for briefing us on the issues, providing us with background information and financial reports, and taking our recommendations seriously by acting on everything that could be reasonably accomplished and made operational sense. Your support was instrumental to our work, which would not have been successful without your assistance and honest answers throughout the study period. The periodic updates and reports you shared over the last two years also bore witness to the value you placed on our recommendations.

It was a joy and an honor for us to work with dozens of fellow citizen volunteers on this important project to provide citizen review and oversight of county operations. Thank you, again, for helping to build a lasting legacy of service we can all be proud of and stand behind.

-- Mike Levengood, Co-Chair

-- Bill McCargo, Co-Chair

Comments

Susan 2 years, 2 months ago

Kudos to Levengood and McCargo for all their hard work and dedication.

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kevin 2 years, 2 months ago

I wonder where we will be next budget year with no Engage Gwinnett recommendations?

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