Community Conversation: Modernizing Local Government. Draft June 20, 2007 WE ARE AT A TIPPING POINT!!! Things could get WORSE, or they could get BETTER! . How You Can Help. Whatever your opinion, help spread the word. Talk to your local representatives – let them know you care.
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Draft June 20, 2007
WE ARE AT A TIPPING POINT!!!
Citizens Academy (Fall 2006 class) Camillus Rotary
Salina Republican Committee Syracuse Rotary
Association of Town Supervisors Dewitt Rotary
F.O.C.U.S Core Group Meeting
.. And local governments helping, not hindering, progress
* 35 municipalities plus 18 school districts.
“ The mismatch between governance and the economy undermines the competitiveness of places by raising the cost of doing business, exacerbating sprawling development trends, squandering urban assets, and deepening racial and class separation.”
Bruce Katz, Brookings Institution, OCL forum, May 17, 2006
1. Niagara (N.Y.) - 2.61%
2. Monroe (N.Y.) – 2.73%
3. Onondaga (N.Y.) – 2.64%
4. Wayne (N.Y.) – 2.61%
5. Chautauqua (N.Y.) – 2.60%
6. Fort Bend (Texas) – 2.58%
11. Tarrant (Texas) – 2.39%
12. Camden (N.J.) – 2.39%
Source: US News & World Report – 12/28/06
Two examples of evidence that even our largest local governments can change if they really want to; BUT THIS IS NOT ENOUGH!
from other parts of the country
The Final Vote: 54% Yes 46% No
City and county governments continue separately, but..
- state leader in job creation, 4.3% unemployment
- visitor business, IT business booming
- key connection to Latin America
- Strong economic growth
- Outstanding civic involvement
- Sprawl under control
- Poverty less concentrated
- Rejuvenated downtown Portland
- Small governments mean local control
- Some people would unfairly lose influence
- It would be too hard to change
- System itself hurts the economy
- Voluntary collaboration hasn’t worked
- Fragmented government is weak
- Change has led to growth in other places
- Cooperation among governments is happening naturally; encourage more
- Government representatives across the region should meet frequently to talk about regional needs and collaborate to meet those needs, and save taxpayers money
- The system we have now maximizes freedom of choice – don’t change it
- Encourage mergers among towns, villages
- Dissolve villages
- Merge Syracuse City and Onondaga County into one government
- Centralize certain local government functions (e.g. economic development,
land use planning)
- Create a multi-county regional level of government to handle regional issues