The 11 winners of American City & County's 2009 annual excellence awards exhibit the creativity, cooperation and communication that is even more essential to efficient local government operations in challenging economic climates.

When times got tough, the following cities and counties found solutions to problems that broke new ground, enhanced residents' quality of life, improved community safety and established models for others to follow. From small towns to large urban areas, the following communities distinguished themselves with bright ideas that are shining examples of the power of local government.

The winners are:

Past Award Winners