City Manager Kurt Triplett has won the 2016 Award for Excellence, the Washington City/County Management Association’s (WCMA) top award that recognizes an outstanding administrator or manager who has enhanced the effectiveness of local elected officials and consistently initiated creative and successful programs. The award was presented Thursday, August 18, at the WCMA Summer Conference in Walla Walla, WA.
“We are very proud of the exceptional work Kurt has been doing here in Kirkland and are pleased he has been recognized by his peers for his efforts,” said Kirkland Mayor Amy Walen. “Kurt’s energy and imagination has resulted in more economic development, better communication with State legislators and he has helped establish a roadmap to aid our City Council in setting clear policy while maintaining fiscal responsibility.”
Triplett was recognized because of the many programs he has put into place since he became City Manager in 2010. His overall strategic success is attributed to what he has called the City Work Program that sets out major policy and financial initiatives for every 2 year budget cycle. The program is used to establish priority initiatives for the City Council in economic development, quality of life, government service and efficiency. City staff is held accountable to achieve the Work Program and performance on implementing the various plans coming out of the program is reported to the Council and to the public. The WCMA recognition panel cited several examples of progress from the Work Program:
· Buying the Cross Kirkland Corridor and developing the Interim Trail.
· Developing a new framework for state legislative strategy that has resulted in significant financial and policy improvement for Kirkland as well as cities across the state.
· Crafting a Public Disclosure ordinance in partnership with the City Council that has made Kirkland an award-winning example for cities across the state.
· Ensuring that Google remained and expanded in Kirkland.
· Leading the City’s effort resulting in two major re-development projects, Totem Lake Mall and Kirkland Urban which are projected to bring nearly $1 billion in new investment into Kirkland.
“I am honored to receive this award from my colleagues,” said Triplett. “But this is truly a team award. No City Manager can be successful without a great organization and the oversight of a thoughtful and creative City Council. I want to thank the Kirkland Council and staff for their help and support.”
The WCMA also recognized Triplett for his leadership on managing healthcare for City staff. He implemented the Healthy Kirkland Initiative in 2015 combining a high deductible plan with a Health Reimbursement Arrangement/Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association (HRA/VEBA) and a free employee health clinic with phenomenal results. Employees are healthier and the City is realizing significant savings.
“Kurt’s contribution to the success of our City is immeasurable,” added Mayor Walen. “But we are glad that others recognize what a great job he had done and continues to do for Kirkland.”