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PHOENIX -- Newly named Mesa Mayor Alex Finter attended his first U.S. Conference of Mayors over the weekend in Dallas and already came home with some hardware.

Finter accepted Mesa's second Outstanding Achievement City Livability Award thanks to the city's iMesa program.

Cathy MacDonald, Mesa's Chief of Staff, said the program was launched in 2011 as a way for people to get engaged in their community by submitting and voting on projects and ideas they'd like to see happen in the city.

"iMesa uses crowd sourcing technology to gather ideas from residents and then we see how we can help make those ideas happen," she said.

MacDonald said Mesa won the same award last year, also thanks to iMesa, but this year the city was awarded because of the growth and adaptation of the program.

"The program has progressed and matured and we actually had quite a number of outcomes this year that we were able to say, we have this project or that project come to fruition through the iMesa program," MacDonald said.

One of those initiatives included at $70 million bond package for new and renovated recreational facilities such as playgrounds, sports fields and aquatics facilities, MacDonald said.

One purpose of the U.S. Conference of Mayors is to allow mayors from around the country to come together and share ideas, and MacDonald said the iMesa program has garnered a lot of interest from other mayors looking to possibly introduce similar programs in their cities.

iMesa is available on the web at http://imesa.mesaaz.gov/, as well as on mobile platforms.

"Getting this honor for the second year in a row is sending a message that we're doing something right," MacDonald said.

Mark Remillard,

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