US Mayor Article

City Livability Awards 2000 to Announce Winners at Annual Meeting

May 15, 2000


The Twenty-First Annual City Livability Awards Program, sponsored by The United States Conference of Mayors and Waste Management, Inc., provides an opportunity to showcase the strong efforts of mayors across the country to improve the quality of life in their communities.  This year, competition for the City Livability Awards program was extremely fierce, with well over 200 applications submitted.

Thirty mayors and their city governments have been named finalists in this year's program.  This issue of U.S.Mayor highlights each finalist mayor and city program.

The thirty applications described below range from efforts to improve city waste management to programs to prepare young children for school, from improved crime prevention to recreation and support of the arts.  Every program reflects the commitment of mayors to improving urban livability.

Selected by an independent panel of judges, the ten City Livability Award winners - 5 for cities above 100,000 in populations and 5 for those below 100,000 - will be announced on Saturday, June 10, at the Annual Conference of Mayors in Seattle.

Cities with population above 100,000

Ann Arbor Mayor Ingrid B. Sheldon - Established "Ann Arbor Energy Fund" to assist city facilities in meeting the city's commitment to improve the energy efficiency of its facilities and operations by using new energy saving technologies.

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino- Established Office of New Bostonians (ONB) to develop citywide strategies to ensure that city government is responsive and accessible to the diverse cultural and linguistic communities, especially since Boston's changing demographics include a high percentage of foreign-born citizens.

Buffalo Mayor Anthony M. Masiello - The Mayor's Community Schools Project (MCSP) oversees grants for after-school and enrichment programs in public schools, providing opportunity for learning and achievement among children with limited access to programs in their communities.

Corpus Christi Mayor Samuel L. Neal, Jr. - Designed communitywide cleanup campaign, "STOP Trashing Corpus Christi," partnering government, community and corporations to encourage individuals, organizations, neighborhoods and businesses to beautify the city's parks, neighborhoods, roadways, business sites, churches and schools.

Fort Worth Mayor Kenneth Barr - Created drive-through Environmental Collection Center and mobile cruiser in "Conquer Your CRUD" campaign to collect and dispose of household hazardous waste; ECC programs have served over 15,000 area residents and diverted over 415 tons of hazardous waste from landfills and streams.

Irving (TX) Mayor Joe Putnam - Empowered Irving's citizens with knowledge of city programs and policies through the creation of a city of Irving web site, making it easier for citizens to access information and become involved in government.

Lancaster (CA) Mayor Frank C. Roberts - Created new Permit Streamlining Process to improve efficiency and meet community needs, affecting such areas as staff education and training, public information, interdepartmental communication, design guidelines, the number of conditional use permits and the preliminary review process.

New Orleans Mayor Marc H. Morial - Reformed New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) into a model for police reform around the world, enforcing high standards of conduct and targeting crime on the streets, implementing a decentralization plan that shifted detectives, officers and supervisors from police headquarters and deploying them to the streets.  Launched a new computerized crime tracking system (COMSTAT).

Pembroke Pines (FL) Mayor Alex G. Fekete - Arranged financing, constructed schools, hired teachers and staff to provide educational opportunity to nearly 1700 children under 1997 Florida law permitting cities to operate Charter Schools.

Stamford Mayor Dannel P. Malloy - Implemented citywide preschool quality care and education program, working with educators, child care workers, parents and teachers to recognize the importance of affordable, quality care and education for pre-kindergartners based on the latest child development research.

Tacoma Mayor Brian Ebersole - Increased recycling rates over 300 percent by carefully planned operational changes—new recycling containers, garbage days, and new methods— and an innovative and extremely successful marketing campaign based on a group of singing garbage men called "The Collectors."

Toledo Mayor Carleton S. Finkbeiner - Organized urban gun initiative by bringing together the mayor's office, Toledo police, city law department, and Youth Commission to draft legislation promoting responsible gun safety that includes firearms, security, a ban on "Saturday Night Specials," a ban on assault weapons, and handgun registration.

Tucson Mayor Robert Walkup - Developed Sustainable Communities Program entitled Livable Tucson Vision, to coordinate a series of policy and prototype projects balancing economic, social, and environmental goals that are community-based and collaborative.

Virginia Beach Mayor Meyera E. Oberndorf - Implemented "Every 15 Minutes" alcohol awareness program targeting high school juniors and seniors. The program title refers to the statistic that every 15 minutes a person between the ages of 15 and 24 is killed in an automobile accident in the United States.  The two-day interactive program educates students and identifies the responsibilities associated with driving, socializing, and alcohol-related activities.

Winston-Salem Mayor Jack Cavanagh, Jr. - Sponsored the innovative Flower Power Program, designed to transform vacant lots and illegal trash-dumping sites into beautification projects.  This effort included planting trees, shrubbery, vegetables, and flowers in a community-wide, collaborative effort to improve quality of life in neighborhoods.

Cities with population under 100,000

Bedford (TX) Mayor Rick Hurt - Implemented "4B for Bedford" Street Rehabilitation program by establishing a Pavement Condition Index and a 4B one-half cent sales tax that has resulted in a community that is pothole-free and committed to communication, cooperation, and quality between city government, citizens and the construction industry.

Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway - Created "Housing in High Gear," a community development and housing program that has dramatically transformed a troubled housing authority into a vehicle for modern and affordable housing.  Housing in High Gear has won HUD's "Most Improved Housing Authority in Mississippi" award for its exemplary performance.

Bristol Mayor Frank N. Nicastro, Sr. - Pooled human and financial resources to develop a strategy to sell and successfully reuse the GM Delco Chassis plant - substituting renovation and maintenance for the potential specter of an abandoned property in decline.

Euclid (OH) Mayor Paul Oyaski - Instituted innovative approach at the grassroots and leadership levels to maintain healthy dialogue and attitudes regarding race relations in the community through Euclid Community Concerns and its launching of Honest Conversations program.

Everett (MA) Mayor David Ragucci - Supported victim advocacy project by partnering Portal to Hope and the Everett Police Department to offer a central site for law enforcement and free support services to victims of domestic violence and rape.  The program has reached 1,700 Everett residents, including low income, disabled, elderly, youth and minority populations.

Farmington Mayor William E. Standley - Assisted implementation of "Quality of Life" plan using gross receipts tax increase involving local government and community interest groups.  The plan resulted in projects such as a public golf course, two-field soccer complex, regional park development, river corridor trails and an aquatic center.

Fort Myers Mayor Bruce T. Grady - Created widespread Neighborhood Shade Tree Program to provide property owners with an opportunity to purchase trees which would be planted, fertilized, mulched and staked by the Parks Department at a low cost.

Gadsden (AL) Mayor Steve Means - Chartered Cultural Arts Foundation in response to citizen initiatives, as an independent, nonprofit organization working to enrich lives, support artistic progress.  The foundation created a cultural campus comprised of two buildings and a courtyard, a community school for the arts, a youth orchestra, musical and theatrical performances, and three exhibit halls.

Hoffman Estates (IL) Mayor Michael J. O'Malley - Addressed child safety issues with the creation of The Child Seat Give-Away Program, a program that donates new child seats to vehicle drivers who cannot afford the cost of one.  Since inception, over 800 child seats have been provided to needy families.

Lynn Mayor Patirck J. McManus - Saved the city $450 million by creating a pilot design/build format for a wastewater plant renovation and Combined Sewer Overflow program, using a standards-based design competition for plant recapitalization.

Melrose (MA) Mayor Patrick C. Guerriero - Established "Melrose Responding with Respect Committee" and charged it with planning events and activities to reinforce the concept of respect and civility in the community, beginning with an efficient and friendly city hall.

Moore (OK) Mayor Glenn Lewis - Created MOORE BEAUTIFUL program to beautify the city by planting trees, landscaping medians, parks, subdivisions and other public spaces through donations and grants.  The program established a partnership between the city, public school system, and local and national businesses and organizations.

North Adams (MA) Mayor John Barrett, III - Opened the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in May 1999, pulling together a community to build a faltering economy into an economic and cultural engine.  The museum has attracted internet businesses, commercial development and tourism and promoted community spirit, cooperation and consensus building among residents.

Pasadena (TX) Mayor Johnny Isbell - Developed innovative Neighborhood Network Program to organize neighborhood/homeowner organizations to improve the city's overall aesthetic appearance including areas such as code enforcement, communications, fund-raising, crime watch and educational workshops.

Waterloo (IA) Mayor John R. Roof - Fire Department program named "Building a Safety-Conscious Community" joins together Waterloo Fire Rescue, a coalition of organizations and agencies, and the Waterloo Public and Parochial Schools to teach injury prevention skills in students' classrooms; uniformed fire fighters make weekly classroom visits.

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