Collaboration, consolidation and cooperation

Nothing in this plan can be accomplished without committing to collaboration, cooperation and consolidation. This means that we must begin to think of ourselves as one community, not a collection of cities and villages and townships and school districts.

To be successful and competitive, to be the kind of community that attracts residents, workers and businesses, we’ve got to rid ourselves of the notion that sacred cows exist; in the New Economy, there are none.

This new approach defines economic development to include areas typically thought of as part of workforce development, community development, urban and regional planning, and tourism development.

The New Economy demands consideration, involvement and coordination of the full range of development activities, rather than the current compartmentalization that goes on. Services must be anticipatory, responsive, efficient, cost-effective and collaborative.

Through the process of formulating this action plan, the following strategies were identified as priority action items:


• Increase centralization of school services

We’ve already begun sharing services such as transportation. For both continued cost-savings in the current economic downturn and efficiencies in the future, our school districts need to explore other ways in which centralization can assist in moving our community forward.

 

• Create one centralized chamber of commerce

Working as one unit, with one voice, will create a uniform, cohesive face for the community.

 

• Consolidate local government services

We’ve seen the success of a single Emergency Medical Services agency, as well as in municipalities collaborating on water and sewer projects and building departments, fire authorities, etc. We look to see more efficiencies gleaned from merging other duplicative organizations.

 

• One-stop option for all permitting

Having one place to get all permits necessary would be a huge boon for businesses, as well as an efficient way for our local municipalities to operate. We want Livingston County to be known as an easy community in which to start up and operate a business.

 

• Move to a county executive form of governance for county

Currently, the Livingston County Board of Commissioners functions as both the executive and legislative bodies. In a county executive form of government, the executive and legislative powers are split between the county executive and the county board of commissioners. A county executive would speak publicly for the entire community.

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