Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sharing Services, Saving Money

After painting a pretty bleak (but realistic) budget picture yesterday, today I have some good news.

One of the ways out of our long-term budget crunch is to consolidate services in the County. If many jurisdictions combine forces to provide a service, versus every one of us doing that service separately, we will save money and provide better service--the epitome of doing more with less. Too often, though, obstacles of turf, bureaucratic malaise, and simply not analyzing how a potential consolidation might work, keep these types of common sense reforms from happening.

For a little more than a year, representatives of jurisdictions across the County have been meeting through our Shared Services Committee to do just this type of work, identifying a number of areas where shared/consolidated services make the most sense: code enforcement, tax collection, heavy equipment sharing, and health among them. There are obviously other areas we should consider, but these seemed like good, tangible first steps.

Well, being organized has paid off. Today, we received word that two of these areas--code enforcement, and heavy equipment sharing--will receive grant funding from the state's Regional Collaboration Grant program, which will really accelerate our work in those areas. Together, we received more dollars than any other part of the state, which I believe happened because we had proactively begun our own effort even before the state created its program, and were more organized.

In terms of long-term solutions to our challenges, this Shared Services process provides a light at the end of the tunnel.

In 2009, we've got to produce tangible results and savings in the identified categories, and expand this work to other areas.

1 comment:

Dan said...

A liitle more extreme but . . . Just make a City-County Unigovernment, eliminate township governments, and share all services. It's happened in other places . . .

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