President’s Message

Recognition for a job well done is important

As I write this article, I have just completed one of the most rewarding experiences as president of APWA. I have just notified by phone all of the APWA Top Ten Public Works Leaders for the Year 2000. Responses have ranged from dead silence to exclamations of elation. However, their comments that followed were usually marked with humility, a sure quality of a good leader. Not only did the recipients appreciate receiving the award, but they quickly recognized that their being honored was also a tribute to the contributions of the people working in their organizations.

Winners represent a diversity of agencies

The APWA Top Ten Public Works Leader of the Year award seeks to inspire excellence and dedication in public service by recognizing the outstanding career service achievements of individual public works professionals and officials. This year’s recipients as usual represented a broad cross section of public works agencies, with communities ranging from under 10,000 in population to large urban agencies representing millions. However, regardless of size, the demands and expectations of citizens remain the same. These individuals have excelled in their positions and the communities they represent can be proud of their many exceptional accomplishments.

Awards are important

Through its awards program, APWA not only recognizes individuals, but also recognizes important public works achievements. Awards are made to public works projects, which include environment, historical restoration/preservation, structures, transportation, and disaster/emergency repair construction. You may ask the question, why does APWA have such an extensive awards program and why do we think awards are so important? The answer is twofold. First, individuals need to be recognized for their achievements. To be openly recognized for your achievements is not only a great honor, but it contributes to the overall satisfaction of your work. Second, those achievements need to be recognized for their valuable contributions to the quality of life of the public. We need to let the public know not only about the importance of public works, but also about how well it is being accomplished. Having had the opportunity to present numerous awards at the Denver congress has reinforced my belief in recognizing individuals and groups for their achievements.

Top Ten Public Works Projects of the Century

Last year in the May Reporter, then-APWA President Bob Miller mentioned the idea of identifying the Top Ten Public Works Projects of the Century. As a result of his suggestion, this year at the Congress in Louisville we will be recognizing our membership’s top ten list of public works projects constructed over the past 100 years. As I have been traveling across the U.S. and Canada as president of APWA, I am amazed by the numerous projects that are worthy of consideration. From coast to coast as we built our nations over the past century, public works achievements have led the way. The list of ten projects will provide the public works profession with an outstanding opportunity to showcase the contributions public works has made to the quality of life in North America. I want to thank everyone who has participated in this program and I look forward to reviewing the results at Congress in Louisville.

Editor’s Note: Look for the Top Ten Public Works Projects of the Year in the July issue of the APWA Reporter, and the announcement of the Projects of the Century in the November issue.