Oakland County wins 14 achievement awards; Patterson to address National Association of Counties

Oakland County’s MI Great Artist online visual art contest and the MI Trade School job portal are among 14 Oakland County government programs to receive 2013 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo).
Winners will be recognized on July 21 during NACo’s 2013 Annual Conference in Tarrant County, Texas.

“Our programs continue to garner national attention, showcasing everything from quality of life to information technology,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “I am exceedingly proud and honored to work with such fine people.”

In the 24 years Oakland County has submitted programs for consideration, it has received 207 awards. This year’s winners represent entries from 25 states and 95 counties. The program, which began in 1970, gives awards in 21 categories including criminal justice, county administration, environmental protection, information technology and health.

MI Great Artist, which was launched by Patterson in 2012, allowed artists to submit their works online for public voting. The top 20 artists were whittled down to five by a jury of arts professionals. The winner was determined by a combination of jury score and public vote.

MI Trade School and its website, MiTradeSchool.org allows visitors to search for jobs and get information on job training and careers.

The Department of Health and Human Services was honored for seven different programs including ones at Children’s Village, Homeland Security and the Health divisions. Information Technology was honored six times and Fiscal Services was also honored.

Patterson is invited to be a panelist at the NACo annual conference by Executive Director Matt Chase. The topic is “Government Innovation and Governing in Times of Transition.”

“Your work as chief executive officer over the past 20 years of one of America’s most affluent and progressive counties is a perfect example of being innovative during turbulent times,” Chase wrote in his invitation to Patterson.

Patterson said he plans to talk about Oakland County’s AAA bond rating, three-year budgeting cycle and its full-funded retiree health care program, among other things.

“I’m not there to talk down to anyone,” Patterson said. “If there are other communities and counties who can benefit from my staff’s strong innovative approach, then we’re happy to share our ideas. We’re not there to say how smart we are.”

Deputy County Executive Phil Bertolini, who is also the county’s chief information officer, will accompany Patterson to Texas. Bertolini is a member of a NACo technology panel that will be participating in the annual meeting.