The PublicCEO Local Government Awards continue today, but not as you’d expect. Today, we recognize those who were not selected as winners.

It is important to pause and recognize that in public service, the question isn’t what awards have been won, but what good has been done in the community. And despite some set backs for local governments last year, 2010 was a remarkable year.

The challenges that faced municipalities and districts were unprecedented. Voters approved a higher margin for new taxes, but a lower margin for new budgets. Across the state, people waited with bated breath to find out whether or not marijuana would be legalized. We thought local funds were made safe from state raids, but the state ended up inventing new ways to reclassify their actions and make them (questionably) legal again.

The economy didn’t recover fast enough, revenues didn’t grow enough; questions of which friends to let go faced hundreds of cities and their administrators.

And with the help of those who were nominated for our awards, and countless others who were not; cities, counties, and special districts continue delivering invaluable services in a professional and commendable way.

It is a testament to the power and skill of government officials of every level.

So while in the last three days we’ve given away awards to some, take a moment to think about those who aren’t recognized and perhaps should have been.

And lastly, we would all be remiss not to acknowledge the associations, leagues, and groups that we work with every day. I say we because while I may not be in the governing side of local governments, I am in local government.

I have grown to need and respect groups like the League of Cities, CSAC, CSDA, and their staffs. From those groups, I’ll specifically mention Erin Treadwell, Eva Spiegel, Kyle Packham, and David Liebler, whom I have all found to be tremendous assets to me, and I have to assume they’re at least equally helpful to all of you.

So Salute! to all of you who didn’t receive an award. You are no less deserving.