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.
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.
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.
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.
IBM has inaugurated the Smarter Cities Challenge, a competitive grant program through which IBM will award a total of $50 million worth of technology and services to a hundred municipalities across the globe. Over the next three years, IBM will send top experts to those cities that have made the strongest case for participating in the Smarter Cities Challenge. IBM consultants will immerse themselves in local issues involving the administration of healthcare, education, safety, social services, transportation, communications, sustainability, budget management, energy, and utilities. Applications will be accepted annually, with the first cycle closing December 31, 2010.
For more information, visit the website at: https://smartercitieschallenge.org/
The Executive Director of the Southern Growth Policies Board, Ted Abernathy recently wrote a commentary on the importance of regional collaboration. He listed 7 keys to successful collaboration:
1. Regional Leadership
2. Building A Team
3. Narrowly Define the Group's Charge
4. Determine the Geography of the Effort
5. Engage Every Partner
6. Share All Information Broadly
7. Build Collaborative Capacity
The Local Government Institute also identified many of these items in our report A Roadmap for Government Transformation - the one important item we found that is not in Mr. Abernathy's list is "Clear Fiscal Benefit."
To read the full article, click here
The Local Government Institute of Wisconsin is committed to promoting the building of leadership skills and organizational capacity among local governments and community leaders in Wisconsin.
The following is a list of organizations and/or programs in Wisconsin that provide valuable training opportunities for local government officials in the areas of leadership, government, economic development, conflict resolution, and others. Please refer to the links for more information about the workshops, seminars, and other programs that are offerred.
State Organizations Offering Leadership Programs
Civitas - www.civitaswi.org
Leadership Wisconsin/Wisconsin Rural Leadership Program - www.uwex.edu/ces/wrlp