The National Association of Counties has announced that Beaufort County has been awarded a 2011 NACo Achievement Award for Transparency in Government through The County Channel.
The announcement came in a letter dated June 7 addressed to Beaufort County Council Chairman Weston Newton. In the letter, NACo Executive Director Larry Naake said members of his organization are pleased with the “high caliber of county programs and projects” submitted for consideration.
“NACo is proud to confer this award and recognize your county’s hard work to promote quality, efficient and responsive management and administration,” he wrote.
The County Channel began serious development in 2006. County Administrator Gary Kubic had been tasked by County Council with creating more transparency in government and hired staff to develop an auxiliary broadcast signal once used by SCETV. Today, the signal has evolved into a television service that carries 24-hour broadcasts, seven days a week. It broadcasts all regular and special County Council meetings and committee meetings; both live and recorded. It carries meetings of county boards and commissions and meetings of the County Board of Education.
The channel also produces and airs educational pieces for the school district and documentaries featuring local history, culture and nature. It broadcasts youth sports offered by the county recreation department and other events of value to the community such as lectures and annual commencement exercises at USCB.
Another important aspect of the channel is the ability to reach residents during an emergency.
“The service allows people to observe county government processes for themselves. They can watch school board and council members make the decisions that affect our lives and they can learn about the policies and opinions of each individual member. Citizens can follow the issues from the time they are introduced at the committee level until they works their way to the full council for final consideration,” Kubic said.