The 2007 National County Government Week theme is “Protecting the Environment.” Counties can show their residents the many ways they work to protect and enhance the health, welfare and safety of citizens in sensible and cost-effective ways. In the activities they plan, counties can present how they encourage energy-efficient commercial development, use fuel-efficient vehicles, promote energy-efficiency in county buildings, recycle paper and other waste, and work to protect the natural environment for their residents.
National County Government Week (NCGW) is an annual celebration of county government. First conducted in 1990, the goal of county government week is to raise public awareness and understanding about the roles and responsibilities of the nation’s counties.
There are activities at the national, state and local levels during county government week. More than 1,000 counties annually participate in NCGW by holding a variety of programs and events. These include tours of county facilities, presentations in schools, meetings with business and community leaders, recognition programs for volunteers, briefings on environmental projects, and adoption of proclamations.
National County Government Week is an excellent opportunity for your county to highlight effective county programs and raise public awareness and understanding about the various services provided to the community. Here are a few ideas on how to get started:
Establish a National County Government Week planning committee.
The committee will initiate, organize and coordinate all activities relating to NCGW. Committee members should include representatives from the county board administration, a representative from each county department, a representative from the school system, and a public information officer or county official experienced in working with the local media. In short, all areas of county government and local schools should be involved in the planning effort.
Decide how extensive your activities will be. Plan weeklong activities or those for just one, two or three days. Plan activities to reach different segments of your community, such as schools, community groups, business groups and news organizations. Activities should be designed to bring the people to county facilities or send county representatives to where the people are.
Contact the media. Send the media an advisory alerting them of your NCGW activities. This should be done about a month before NCGW begins. Prepare news releases focusing on specific NCGW activities for release the day of the event.
Give Them the Facts
National County Government Week offers an opportunity to address any negative or incorrect public perceptions of county government. One effective way to accomplish this goal is to simply present the facts. As part of NCGW, prepare and distribute “County Fact Sheets” on services provided to the community.
Environmental and Energy Efficiency Facts
How many cans and bottles were recycled last year?
How many pounds of paper were recycled last year?
How many old light bulbs were replaced with new, energy-efficient light bulbs last year?
How many hybrid or natural gas cars, trucks and buses are owned and operated by the county?
How much money was saved last year through energy-efficiency initiatives?
Other County Services Facts