The Orange County Business Council celebrated the winners of its first-ever Turning Red Tape into Red Carpet Awards last evening, highlighting local government agencies that have worked to pave the way for economic growth and promote job creation in the private sector.
The program was created to recognize leaders in Orange County government whose policies and programs have “cut through the red tape” to find new ways of facilitating job growth and expanding the local economy. The council created six categories to honor local agencies: Business Retention and Expansion, Responding to Globalization, Sustainable and Green Development, Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse, Public-Private Partnerships, and Leadership in the Public Service.
Lucy Dunn, president of the OCBC, said the Red Tape/Red Carpet program gives the Orange County community the opportunity to see which government agencies are making the effort to grow the local economy.
"This is important because it recognizes public agencies that are clearly demonstrating forward thinking when it comes to operating more efficiently and cost-effectively,” Dunn said at the event Thursday evening. “It's about streamlining the public process to save taxpayers money and get the job better and faster."
In the category of Business Retention and Expansion, the City of Huntington Beach was selected for its Ten Point Plan for Local Business, a program developed to further improve business retention in that city. Some of the ten points include enhancing customer service standards, expanding funding resources for small businesses, and expanding economic development programs.
Three other programs were selected by the OCBC to receive Honorable Mentions in this category; the Orange County Health Care Agency, for its E-Submit Business Portal, Connecting Orange County; the Anaheim Uniion High School, for its Developer Impact Fees Deferral Program, and the City of Newport Beach for its Community Development Reorganization.
Two nominees were honored in the category of Sustainable and Green Development. John Wayne Airport was selected for its new Central Utility Plant, part of its $500 million improvement project, which supplies approximately 95 percent of the airport’s power needs. The City of Anaheim was chosen for its Water Recycling Demonstration Plant, a 100,000 gallon-per-day wastewater treatment facility that can save up to 35 million gallons a year of imported water.
The City of Irvine was presented the award for Responding to Globalization, for its outreach in global strategies and participation in programs including Sister Cities, the Irvine Global Village. The award for Public-Private Partnership went to OC Public Works for its work on the Ortega Highway Widening Project, which required extensive collaboration between public and private agencies.
The final award of the evening, for Public Sector Leadership, went to Orange County Supervisor Bill Campbell for his visionary work in the renewable energy and economic development fields. "I'm honored because I have dedicated my life to making government more accountable and results-oriented."
Dan Miller, former Chairman of the OCBC and senior vice president of entitlement and public affairs at the Irvine Co., chaired the Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet committee. Nominated agencies were judged on standards including the extent of the economic impact on its community, such as the creation of new jobs; whether or not the program achieved its stated objective with measurable results; and the program or policy’s relevance and transferability of elements to other communities, among other criteria.
The award winners were selected from a pool of nominees that included Orange County cities, school districts and county agencies.
Steve Churm contributed to this report.
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