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James, Hudnut honored for leadership in government.

Newark Mayor and NLC Second Vice President Sharpe James and NLC Past President William H. Hudnut III were among the honorees at City & State's Seventh Annual Most Valuable Public Official awards dinner last week.

Sharpe and Hudnut were among six winners for outstanding leadership and innovation in local and state government. Nominated by their peers, the six were chosen from 125 applicants of public officials from state, county and local governments from across the country.

Awards were bestowed at a gala dinner and reception in Washington, D.C. with James chosen as a winner in the outstanding city government category and former Indianapolis Mayor Hudnut for outstanding career achievement as a public official.

According to City & State, "They have been chosen because they are innovative and creative--and they lead. Government is becoming more complex and provides few rewards. To honor public servants as MVPOs[Most Valuable Public Officials] is one way to show that quality does matter."

"What they've demonstrated and proven is that self governance begins at the local level," City & State Publisher Dan Miller told a crowd of about 100 at the program on September 22.

Hudnut was praised for his work as a four-term mayor of Indianapolis, who during his tenure turned his city into one of the cleanest places to live in America and was instrumental in the creation of 100,000 jobs for the city.

"He suffers from irrepressible optimism," said Dan Miller.

According to City & State, James was honored form among a list of accomplishments, "bucking the trend of urban centers watching large corporations relocate to suburbs." In 1989, James was instrumental in convincing health care conglomerate Blue Cross/Blue Shield to consolidate its 4,000-employee operations in the city.

Under the leadership of James, Newark has been able to beat a number of odds including making a $200 million dollar deal for a 2,500-seat performing arts center.

City & State's editorial staff rated the nominees using criteria including "the ability to seek alternative methods of government funding in an age of tight finances and exert strong leadership through difficult times."

Persons making nominations were asked to describe "What are the attributes of a valuable public official?"

"A valuable elected official is one who can cause individual citizens to recognize their concerns can be met at the same time community needs can be satisfied," San Jose, Calif. Mayor Susan Hammer said.

"A good public official is in step with the people, willing to listen to all sides, make a judgement and work to see that the plan is put into place. But most important of all, a good public official has to be honest. Without honesty, the official's efforts and office are worth little," Alabama Governor Guy Hunt.

"Public officials should be thoroughly committed to increased cooperation between elected leaders, appointed individuals and other officials with a goal to constantly improve the administration of the affairs of the municipality that you serve.

Public officials should uphold constitutional government and the laws of their private and public lives to be an example to fellow citizens," Mayor Portsmouth, Va. Gloria Webb.

The other winners are Georgia Governor Zel Miller, for the state category; Wayne County, Mich. Executive Edward H. McNamara for the county management category; Dallas City Manager Jan Hart for the city management category; and in the information and resource management category Peter McGeoch, Ohio's deputy director for the Department of Administrative Services, Division of Computer and Information Services.

Honorees were introduced by representatives of corporation which sponsored the awards. The corporate sponsors are: ARA Correctional Medical System and Szabo Correctional Services, divisions of ARA Services of Oak Brook, Ill.; Capital Guaranty Insurance Co. of San Francisco; Insituform of North America, Inc. of Memphis, Tenn.; Motorola Inc. of Schaumburg, Ill.; Lockhead IMS of Teaneck, N.J.; and Toyota Motor Sales USA of Torrence, Calif.
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Title Annotation:Newark Mayor Sharpe James, National League of Cities Past President William H. Hudnut, III
Author:Baker, Denise
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Sep 28, 1992
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