Joint collaboration earns statewide honor

Intergovernmental Collaborative Group wins award for Port Townsend

PORT TOWNSEND — A joint collaboration with Jefferson County, the Port of Port Townsend and the Jefferson County Public Utility District has led to a statewide award for the City of Port Townsend.

The Association of Washington Cities (AWC) has awarded the City of Port Townsend the 2022 Municipal Excellence Award for the Port Townsend and Jefferson County Intergovernmental Collaborative Group (ICG). Also chosen from 22 applications were Kenmore, Pasco and Walla Walla.

Members of the ICG, which was formed in December 2020 to develop a COVID-19 Recovery and Resiliency Plan, have been working together on such issues as housing, economic development, infrastructure — including broadband — climate change, behavioral health and food security.

The initial result of the effort was six community groups that focused on children and families, jobs and economy, broadband, food resilience, culture and events and human services. The outcome was a plan with federal funding for implementation guided by the broader community, which can be seen at www.jeffcotogether.net.

“With our Intergovernmental Collaborative Group, we are showcasing our commitment to end the conflicts of the past, be the best stewards of public resources we can be, and actualize a positive vision of the future,” said Mayor David Faber, in a press release.

The ICG, which is composed of the 16 elected officials from all four general purpose agencies in Jefferson County, “was forged during crisis and choreographed and amplified significant community efforts,” said City Manager John Mauro in the release.

“It met dozens of times and fostered many more dozens of community group meetings of well over 100 people playing active roles,” he said.

Since creating the plan, the ICG has evolved to take on a range of other topics, including a unified and codified agency approach to economic development, action on climate change and coordination on federal funding/initiatives, Mauro said in the release.

“This year’s winning projects highlight just a few of the ways that Washington cities are leading with innovation and resilience to solve a diverse range of challenges, including affordable housing, public health and economic recovery,” said Alicia Seegers Martinelli, AWC interim CEO.

The competition is open each year to all 281 cities and towns in Washington. The winning cities will be recognized at AWC’s annual conference on June 23.

For more on the ICG, see https://www.co.jefferson.wa.us/1491/Intergovernmental-Collaborative-Group-IC.

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