COG Executive Director Chuck Bean, Prince George's County Council Member Todd Turner, and Loudoun County Supervisor and COG President Matthew Letourneau. For more photos from the meeting, visit COG's Flickr page.
WASHINGTON, DC – At its Annual Membership and Awards Luncheon, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), a nonprofit association of 300 area elected officials, presented Prince George’s County Council Member Todd Turner with its highest honor, the Elizabeth and David Scull Metropolitan Public Service Award.
Turner was recognized for his leadership over the past several years on the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) at COG. Among his accomplishments, Turner, previously a City of Bowie Council Member, helped shepherd the Regional Transportation Priorities Plan to its approval and played a leading role in the region’s call for additional state transportation funding.
“Council Member Turner delivered constructive, consistent and highly effective leadership at a critical time for our region as we worked to comprehensively plan for future growth,” said District of Columbia Council Chairman and COG Board Chairman Phil Mendelson, who presented Turner with the award.
As Chairman of the TPB in 2012 and as Chairman of special task force, Turner worked with his fellow elected officials, stakeholders, and citizens on the multi-year Priorities Plan initiative. The Plan, approved in January of this year, identifies strategies with the greatest potential to respond to the region’s most significant transportation challenges. It now serves as a guide for area jurisdictions and transit agencies to consider as they develop projects. Turner also helped the region make a strong case to state officials to increase transportation funding. His voice joined other area leaders in pushing state leaders in Maryland and Virginia to pass historic new revenue-raising measures in 2013 to better fund and maintain the region’s transportation network.
Congressman and former COG Board of Directors Member Gerry Connolly presents the Ronald F. Kirby Award for Collaborative Leadership to former Fairfax County Administrator Anthony Griffin.
COG honored former Fairfax County Executive Anthony Griffin with the first-ever Ronald F. Kirby Award for Collaborative Leadership. In addition to managing the region’s largest jurisdiction for 12 years, Griffin served as Chairman of the Chief Administrative Officers Committee, a group of local city and county managers that meet regularly at COG. Through this committee, Griffin, who previously served as an administrator in Arlington County and the City of Falls Church, helped the region manage about $60 million a year in federal homeland security funds. U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly of Virginia presented the award to Griffin, who continues to serve the region as a board member of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and professor at George Mason University.
COG Executive Director Chuck Bean presents the Regional Partnership Award to the Summit Fund of Washington.
COG recognized the Summit Fund of Washington with its Regional Partnership Award for its more than 15 years of leadership on the clean-up of the Anacostia River. Work done by the Fund and its partner organizations led to the formal establishment of the Anacostia Restoration Partnership by the COG Board in 2006. The Fund played a leading role in the adoption of the Anacostia Watershed Restoration Plan in 2010.
The Fund has also been an important advocate of the Green Streets Policy for the entire region, which was adopted this year by the Transportation Planning Board. The Policy encourages state and local jurisdictions across the region to limit the impact of stormwater runoff which in turn benefits local waterways.
U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez presenting the keynote speech to 2014 COG Annual Meeting attendees.
U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez delivered the keynote speech and noted the I-95 Express Lanes, Silver Line and Metroway as major steps forward for the region. He called attention to the nation’s transportation infrastructure needs. By 2050, he said the U.S. will be home to 100 million more people and two times more freight traffic. Mendez also promoted the Grow America Act, a reauthorization proposal that he said offered more power to state and local governments to strengthen their transportation systems. He also promoted the importance of bicycle and pedestrian safety and lauded the region's Street Smart program.
Several newly-elected officials also delivered greetings during the meeting: District of Columbia Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser and U.S. Representatives-elect Don Beyer and Barbara Comstock of Virginia.
District of Columbia Mayor Elect Muriel Bowser addressing the 2014 COG Annual Meeting as the next mayor of the District and as 2015 COG President.
In addition to presenting its regional awards, the Council of Governments elected its 2015 corporate officers. District of Columbia Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser was elected President, while City of College Park Mayor Andrew Fellows and City of Falls Church Mayor David Tarter were both elected as Vice Presidents. Karen Toles, a Prince George’s County Council Member, will serve as Secretary-Treasurer.
The Scull Award is presented annually to a local, state or federal elected official for outstanding service to the metropolitan Washington region. It is named after the late Montgomery County Councilmembers, who were strong supporters of COG and regional cooperation.
The Ronald F. Kirby Award for Collaborative Leadership is presented in the memory of Ron Kirby, COG’s Director of Transportation Planning from 1987 to 2013. The award recognizes non-elected government executives, who work collaboratively with elected officials, stakeholders, and their communities to shape a better region.
The Regional Partnership Award is presented to organizations or individuals who have worked with COG to improve the quality of life for area residents.