I saw a recent blog post titled “In 2016, Nations May Govern But Cities Rule,” written by my pal Bruce Katz, who is a well-respected opinion leader on city issues at The Brookings Institution in Washington.
In his blog, Bruce says, “Cities have become the engines of national economies and the vanguard of economic and social innovation. In 2016, devolution will accelerate, and the solution to our toughest problems will increasingly come from local leaders.”
This statement totally resonates with me, and CML’s just released 2016 State Of Our Cities And Towns report on public service partnerships absolutely bears this out.
Nearly 90 percent of Colorado’s municipalities have shared service agreements with another government for greater efficiency and savings to the taxpayer. These agreements are our answer to the challenges of rising costs, increased demands, and calls to deliver new services.
The most frequently shared services focus on public safety, followed by solid waste, heavy equipment, weather siren networks, IT services, tourism, water and wastewater treatment, and affordable housing.
Here are some recent notable examples:
- Glendale, Sheridan, and Englewood partnering with Denver for fire protection
- Fraser and Winter Park merging their police departments
- Montrose partnering with other neighboring jurisdictions on the provision of IT services
- San Luis Valley municipalities sharing in a State Patrol-operated 9-1-1 dispatch center
Take a look at the brief video describing the report.
I was traveling around the West Slope recently, calling on a variety of our members. I learned a lot about this type of cooperation. These are clearly partnerships that work and enhance the operations of municipal government. They take a vision, a dose of leadership, and a commitment to problem solving.
And that is what we do every day in the municipal world.
We hope to make 2016 the year of municipal partnerships. Let me know what you are doing in your city or town to advance this.