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DES MOINES – The Taxpayers Association of Central Iowa is creating an annual “In the Public Interest” Award to recognize and encourage citizens, public officials and governments that take the lead in creating the most efficient public services.

The first award will be presented at the group’s annual meeting next February.

“There are plenty of special interests and vested interests that exert a tremendous amount of pressure and influence on every level of government,” association executive director Gretchen Tegeler said during a reception that precedes the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s annual Washington, D.C. trip. “The reason we’re calling it the In the Public Interest Award is because citizens or elected officials must often rise above that pressure and influence to promote and achieve the public good.  We want to recognize those who go the extra mile in doing so.”

Association president Marc Ward said the group chose to make the announcement at the Partnership reception because “the D.C. trip is a great illustration of key public officials and business leaders from across the metro area working together for the good of the community as a whole.”  Ward noted, “The community’s voice in Washington is so powerful because it’s focused on the greater good above and beyond each community’s individual interests.”

The award will recognize an individual, government or intergovernmental project that “best demonstrates the aggressive pursuit of efficiency over the past year.” Local governments and individuals will be encouraged to nominate candidates or projects for recognition. TACI’s board of directors will select the annual winner.

“Taxpayers work very hard for the money they send to local and county governments, schools and other public entities. They have a right to expect public officials will use that money as wisely and effectively as possible,” Ward said. “At the same time, we are seeing a lot of cost-savings, innovation, collaboration and creativity within government. It’s important for us to point that out in order to get more of it – and that’s the purpose behind the association’s In the Public Interest Award.”

The Taxpayers Association of Central Iowa exists to foster more efficient and effective local government in the Greater Des Moines area through independent research, education, advocacy and community leadership.  The group’s membership includes individuals and businesses in Polk, Dallas and Warren counties.


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