Most people who live around Cleveland are tired of hearing about corrupt public officials doing shady deals, having closed-door meetings and dressing in drag. While it’s fantastic that Mayor Jackson has supported the movement to make Cleveland a model of sustainability, other public officials all around Ohio have yet to get it.
Whether publicly elected officials understand the importance of sustainability for our region or not, one thing is perfectly clear. We need more collaboration between offices and in order to do that, we need reform of our current government system.
In light of this, I was pleased to receive the following email this morning:
Ohio Commission on Local Government Reform and Collaboration
The Ohio Commission on Local Government Reform and Collaboration will hold a public hearing on Friday, October 30, 2009 at 10:30 a .m . at the Engineer’s Club of Dayton located at 110 E. Monument Avenue, Dayton, Ohio 45402. Parking options around the facility may be found on the Commission’s website at www.ohioreformandcollaboration.org . This is the third of five hearings that will be held throughout Ohio seeking public input.
Testimony and input is requested in three main areas:
1) Recommendations that will encourage and incentivize local governments to collaborate;
2) Identification of local and state tax structure changes which would encourage collaboration or improve service effectiveness; and
3) Identification of current/alternative service delivery models.
If you are in the Southwest Ohio region and are concerned with the issue of local government efficiency we strongly encourage you to attend to ensure that your voice is heard. If you cannot attend this meeting, you might also consider preparing written testimony.
Greater Ohio and its partner the Brooking Institution have identified governance reform as an important issue to be considered as we work to restore prosperity to Ohio. Governance reform falls within our larger agenda that is charged with increasing Ohio’s economic competitiveness and quality of life by focusing on the four drivers of prosperity in the 21st century economy: innovation; human capital; infrastructure; and quality of place.
Again, we ask you to voice your opinion if you feel, as we at Greater Ohio do, that regional collaboration and efficient governance structures are critical to building a more competitive and prosperous Ohio.
The Local Government Reform Commission is legislatively created and consists of 15 members ranging from local officials to business people. It is charged with researching and writing a report that recommends reform and collaboration measures in order to improve local government operations and service delivery to create cost savings for taxpayers .
For more information about the Commission visit its website at www.ohioreformandcollaboration.org.
As I work with teams of motivated individuals who are attempting to make Cleveland a more sustainable city socially, environmentally, and economically, I am beginning to see the critical role that governments have in the decision-making process for many of these initiatives.
While a project may have the go-ahead from the city, elected officials of the State might not have a system in place, or the knowledge, to support such a project. Silos and closed doors can kill progressive, forward-thinking projects that could help our region become more globally competitive.
Change is necessary if Cleveland and its surrounding regions hope to become more sustainable. Leadership is critical, and we have the power to choose our leaders and the system in which they work together.