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Developing a trend: Cherokee listed as a County of Excellence by ‘Georgia Trend’ Read more: Cherokee Tribune – Developing a trend Cherokee listed as a County of Excellence by ‘Georgia Trend’

March 9, 2012

written by Kristal Dixon
The Cherokee Tribune

CANTON — Cherokee County is in the spotlight for its trend-setting customer center at the county Administration Building.

The county was placed on the Counties of Excellence list in the March issue of “Georgia Trend” magazine for its Development Service Center, located on the main floor of the county administration building in The Bluffs at Technology Park.

The Development Service Center allows customers to walk in without an appointment and obtain business licenses and other development-related permits. The center was praised because it is more efficient and costs fewer tax dollars.

The seventh annual recognition this year focused on financial management and organizational efficiency.

Other counties recognized include Augusta-Richmond County for its redevelopment of the Laney Walker/Bethlehem neighborhoods, Camden County for its implementation of the Andrew Cohn Automatic External Defibrillator Program, Habersham County for its public health improvement initiative, Gwinnett County for its Traffic Control Center and Clayton County for its Clayton Fire Network.

County Manager Jerry Cooper said the recognition was “an honor and could not have been possible without the support of the Board of Commissioners and hard work and dedication of county staff — truly a team effort.”

“The county consolidated operations, reduced staff, streamlined processes — saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars annually while reducing development plan approval times from months to days,” he added.

Cooper said the center is unique because residents rarely hear about government reducing costs and staff while improving performance at the same time.

“We hope to be an example for others who strive to reduce the size of government while improving levels of service — a difficult task but we have proven it can be done,” he said.

The Counties of Excellence list is put together by the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, that brings awareness to “good programs” counties are implementing, said Director of Communications Beth Brown.

Brown said the ACCG took nominations of the counties to be considered and had an external committee pick the finalists.

County Commissioner Jason Nelms said anytime the county’s services are recognized is “a good thing for the county and a good thing for the people.”

County Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens said the recognition is another feather in the cap for county services.

He also said it’s another highlight the county can add to its unique selling points.

“I think it’s reflective of the quality that this county continues to demonstrate and I’m pleased it’s being recognized,” he said.

County Commissioner Karen Bosch said she’s happy to hear of the county’s recognition.

Bosch noted the concept of one-stop shop was something she pushed for when the county was designing the administration building.

“We have a knowledgeable and energetic staff in our Development Service Center,” she said. “It has been very popular and I believe very efficient for the county as well as the citizens.”

Read more: Cherokee Tribune – Developing a trend Cherokee listed as a County of Excellence by ‘Georgia Trend’

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