The Local Government Institute of Wisconsin, Inc. will collaborate with others to find solutions for the efficient delivery and funding of local government services consistent with the needs of our citizens.
LGI Executive Director, Gary Becker, presented to the June 13, 2011 joint monthly meeting between the City of Evansville and Town of Union on the work of LGI, and what LGI has learned about promoting greater collaboration. The presentation included benefits of collaboration, obstacles to collaboration, and overcoming those obstacles. The City and the Town have an agreement to conduct ongoing joint monthly meetings to explore collaboration and growth issues.
Click here for a copy of the outline from the meeting, which includes these important points.
From the Beloit Daily News:
Sharing equipment, joint purchasing, and combining specialty positions were some of the ideas the Beloit and Janesville city councils tossed around Tuesday evening as ways to collaborate services.
The two councils met at the Beloit Public Library in what they hope will be the first of a series of joint workshops. The purpose was for the councils to get to know each other and to have an open discussion about shared service delivery and cost savings.
The Joint Legislative Committee today introduced three bills, the ideas for which can be traced to LGI's 2010 study Roadmap for Government Transformation.
from The Business Journal Serving Greater Milwaukee:
As health care costs continue to rise and government entities face reduced funding in the state budget, Milwaukee’s cash-strapped taxing bodies are exploring combining their employee benefits to save money.
Representatives from the city of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee Area Technical College and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District have been meeting for about three months to discuss possible cost savings that could be realized by purchasing prescription drug coverage and health insurance together.
Estimating Rural and Urban Minnesota's Interdependencies, by Kate Searls, Minnesota Rural Partners, March 2011
This is the report of a study, funded by US Dept. of Agriculture Rural Development, to document the degree to which rural and urban areas are economically linked. The study looked at Minnesota, but the conclusions apply to Wisconsin as well. Key findings:
• Rural Minnesota provides critical employment in a number of the most sought after industry sectors. Forty percent of Minnesota’s total employment in 17 targeted industry clusters takes place in rural Minnesota.
• Well over half of the state’s jobs in the following clusters are located outside the urban region:
Editorial from the Green Bay Press Gazette, March 13, 2011:
The village of Allouez appears to be taking a rational, measured approach to the possibility of consolidating or sharing fire services — the kind of move our state could see more of as belt-tightening in Madison trickles down to the local level.
Fire officials on Wednesday held the first of two public meetings to gauge residents' thoughts on the matter, which eventually could involve another community providing some service to Allouez. Interim Fire Chief Neil Cameron, acting with approval from the Village Board, has met with fire officials from Bellevue, De Pere and Green Bay to discuss the concept's potential.
The Local Government Institute of Wisconsin, in partnership with University of Wisconsin - Extension's Local Government Center, hosted a leadership workshop designed for local government leaders on April 28, 2011. The workshop was broadcast to eleven different sites across the state, and approximately 200 people registered for the event. Attendees were a mix of municipal staff members and elected officials, and representatives from counties, towns, villages, and cities alike were at the workshop.
This workshop provided participants with the basic concepts necessary to transform the way local government services are supplied within their regions through collaboration and service sharing.
The workshop agenda was as follows:
8:30 a.m. Registration & Networking
9:00 a.m. Welcome and Kick-Off
An article from the Wisconsin State Journal describing the difficulty of local government service consolidation:
"For the first time in recent memory, the oddly shaped, sparsely populated and slated-for-extinction town of Blooming Grove will have its own ambulance service.
"The nearly $800,000 it’s spending to do this includes the cost of a new fire station, an ambulance and staff. Despite the start-up costs, town administrator Mike Wolf contends that residents will end up paying less for the service than before, after taking into account the sale of the town’s old public works garage and a contract with the town of Burke to serve its residents, too.
"Still, $800,000 to begin ambulance service in a...." Read the full article
A new website has the potential to streamline the time between identifying a problem and securing a local government solution. SeeClickFix - www.seeclickfix.com - allows citizens to post a problem - from a pothole in front of their house to a broken street light to graffiti in the neighborhood. The problem is posted for all to see as is the time it takes to fix the problem. Local elected officials, eager to stay on voter's good side, monitor the site to ensure timely response to posted problems. The media also monitors the site, looking for good local interest stories.