Stafford County Captures Three National Awards for Achievement

Stafford County Utilities won a National Association of Counties (NACo) 2024 Achievement Award in the Civic Education and Public Information category, a testament to its dedication to excellence in serving its residents. The NACo Awards recognize outstanding government programs and services. Stafford also won two more awards in the Human Services category.

“Having our efforts recognized by NACo is high praise indeed,” said Stafford County Board of Supervisors Chairman Meg Bohmke. “We work daily to achieve excellence on behalf of our residents, but it is certainly nice to have our peers validate our work.”

Stafford County Utilities, in partnership with the Community Engagement Department, won for a superhero character that fights clogs. The utilities infrastructure is an aging system that the County is working to upgrade and maintain. Clogs from fats, oil, and grease (FOG) are a real problem that impacts operations and costs. The department initially created a superhero theme for the annual FOG campaign to increase awareness about how residents can help protect the sanitary sewer system. The main character, Captain Clog, was used on billboards, social media posts, and videos for the FOG campaign. Since then, he has become a vehicle to communicate various awareness and outreach topics. Two comic books have been created for outreach—the first edition about the water and wastewater treatment processes and the second edition about water conservation. 

Stafford County’s Rappahannock Regional Solid Waste Management Board (R-Board) bicycle restoration program won in the Human Services category. The R-Board initiated a bicycle restoration program in October of 2023. This program aims to reduce waste by providing a drop-off location for gently used bicycles that need minor repairs at the residential side of the Regional Landfill. By refurbishing and repairing bicycles that are still in good condition, the program encourages reuse and prevents them from being landfilled. Stafford Crossing Community Church is the community partner responsible for refurbishing collected bicycles, making repairs, and distributing them to children in need. Questions about the bicycle restoration program may be addressed to Francesca Johnson, Recycling Manager, at fjohnson@staffordcountyva.gov.

Stafford’s Human Resources department won for policy changes that improve efficiency in the Human Services category. Human Resources maintains several policies related to the organization and administration of Stafford County Government’s human resources and associated programs. Stafford County Leadership team members worked to identify specific policy amendments that the County Administrator could authorize. This concept was discussed with individual members of the Board of Supervisors to gauge openness to delegating their authority during these identified areas of policy amendments before bringing the program to the full Board of Supervisors for a resolution. The goal of delegating authority to the County Administrator is to create efficiency and flexibility for the County to maintain its Human Resources policies.

A list of all 2024 NACo Achievement Award winners and more information on the awards may be found at: https://www.naco.org/news/announcing-2024-naco-achievement-award-winners#all.