Harford County recently announced it received two Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties for initiatives undertaken in the past year.
One program honored was the "Innovation in Harford County" online idea forum, which was fully launched in July 2010. The first of its kind in Maryland, the innovation site allows users to self-register and submit ideas to the community for review, comment and voting.
The project was initiated at the request of Harford County Executive David Craig in keeping with his commitment to transparency and efficiency in government.
Harford County Government worked with the technology firm Spigit to develop the Innovation in Harford County site, which can be accessed at http://www.ideas.harfordcountymd.gov.
The other program honored with a NACo Achievement Award was Harford County's Green Star program, which is overseen by the Sustainability Office in the Department of Administration.
According to a county news release, the Green Star program was developed in June 2010 as a way to recognize initiatives undertaken by county employees that demonstrate a commitment to environmental stewardship, energy efficiency and resource management.
Since its launch, 41 Green Stars have been awarded to representatives of 16 departments or divisions in county government, as well as from Harford County Public Libraries and the Harford County Sheriff's Office.
"It is always nice to be honored by a national organization such as NACo for initiatives we have implemented," Craig said in the news release. "These two programs are representative of our greater effort to be a leader in the state of Maryland in introducing new technologies that improve the government process. Innovation and efficiency might just be buzzwords to some, but we see them as essential to good governance in the 21st century."