Cheryl Harrison-Lee

The International City/County Management Association or ICMA has recognized the Gardner with a 2018 Certificate of Excellence in Performance Management. ICMA awards this certificate to governmental entities that demonstrate a commitment to collecting, using and sharing performance data to enhance transparency and continually improve their organizations and communities. This certificate is the highest level of recognition awarded.
ICMA evaluated the city’s Performance Management Program to determine its certification level, which includes its strategic plan that serves as a multi-year roadmap for achieving community goals; public dashboard that provides an at-a-glance view of key performance indicators related to specific objectives and business processes; and its efforts to improve public service through public engagement and comparative benchmarking.
“Performance management is a quintessential component in achieving excellence in our business practices. It determines how we conduct business, allocate funds and make operational and strategic decisions,” said Cheryl Harrison-Lee, city administrator. “It is an honor to be recognized among other high-performing cities, such as Austin, Phoenix and San Francisco, who have also been recognized for their data-driven management and performance-focused culture.”
Harrison-Lee also says the award demonstrates that Gardner is transparent and innovative; Gardner will spend its money in efficient ways and for the greater good.
Harrison views toward marketing Gardner to new businesses: “We haven’t yet but we will.” She says the award is new (came one month ago) and that the city needs to plan out their strategies for marketing, but they plan to put it on the website and tell businesses.
ICMA will formally recognize Gardner and other certificate recipients at its 104th Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, later this fall.
Along with the ceremony in Baltimore, Harrison-Lee and staff will be mentioned during a city council meeting.
To view the Gardner Strategic Plan and performance dashboard G3 (Gardner Guarantees Greatness), visit For questions, contact Matt Wolff, senior management analyst at