The Nevada Taxpayers Association awarded Douglas County its prestigious Cashman Good Government Award for the county’s innovative budget solutions. The award was presented March 4 by former Nevada Gov. Bob Miller at the association luncheon in Las Vegas. The 350 people in attendance included Gov. Brian Sandoval, state lawmakers, local governments and business leaders throughout the state.
In 2012, Douglas County became the first county in the nation to implement priority-based budgeting, which shifts the annual budget process from across the board allocations to investing in the community’s highest priorities. Priority-based budgeting has since been adopted by the International City-County Management Association and the Alliance for Innovation as a leading practice in local government.
Douglas County has used the process over the past two years to balance a $3 million annual structural deficit, invest over $1 million annually in existing revenue to road maintenance, and increase its bond rating for the first time in 10 years and the highest in its history.
The award is presented annually to an outstanding local government in Nevada for innovative solutions that improve the quality of public services, while reducing costs to taxpayers. Several agencies and projects were nominated and three finalists were selected, including Douglas County, the City of Reno and Clark County. This is the first time that Douglas County has won the award since it was first established in 1998.
The Cashman Good Government Award selection is based in the following criteria: Strong, ongoing and consistent effort to use taxpayer funds wisely and efficiently; Acts that are above and beyond normal job duties; Effective, open and accountable practice of creating a user-friendly government; The degree to which the achievement has provided tangible results.