A Citizen committee has released a report filled with suggestions to improve local government (City and County) and save taxpayer’s money.  The report has been given to both governments and may be downloaded here.

From the October 22nd Journal Gazette:

Unify services, rules, county told
Panel touts shared dispatch, road maintenance efforts
By Amanda Iacone

Better stormwater management, a countywide dispatch and countywide road maintenance are among the final recommendations of a citizen committee finding ways to improve local government and save taxpayer money.

The committee released its final report Tuesday after almost a year of meetings, research and debate. Copies were released to Fort Wayne and Allen County elected officials, who created the study group after several failed attempts in 2007.

[…] “It won’t be easy,” said Marilyn Moran-Townsend, committee co-chairwoman.

Townsend said the biggest priority for city and county leaders should be to conduct a fiscal summit with the county auditor, city controller and the finance managers of all four local school districts.

A new state law that capped taxes for property owners also linked local taxing units. If one entity goes over those caps, that would leave less tax money for other government units, she said.

The full effect of that law will hit in 2010, which gives local governments 14 months to talk about their spending priorities and find ways to reduce budgets together. The need to cut budgets prompted the rest of the committee’s recommendations, Townsend said.

Co-Chairwoman Linda Buskirk would like to see those finance officers meet in early 2009 – before governments begin work on the 2010 budgets. And she hopes that meeting can become a regular and expected part of local government operations, Buskirk said.

Committee members support creating one countywide dispatching center. They did not say whether Fort Wayne or Allen County should run it.

[…] Committee members suggested creating a transportation authority to handle road and bridge maintenance in the county and in any participating towns and cities. The authority would pool tax dollars from those communities to pay for road work.

The committee recommended replacing the multiple existing plan commissions with a joint plan commission that could serve other cities and towns. They also supported one set of zoning laws.

Local Government Efficiency Study Committee Members:

Linda Buskirk, president, Accountable Solutions Inc.
Marilyn Moran-Townsend, CEO, CVC Communications
Michael Kelly, director of personal and professional development at IPFW
Don Geradot, Monroeville Town Council president
Richard Hoeppner, Woodburn mayor
Susie Hoot, co-owner, NU Insulation
Paul Moss, Allen County Council president
Michael Ottenweller, president, Ottenweller Co.
Ron Reinking, CPA and staff writer with Indiana Policy Review
Ed Rousseau, Realtor and former county commissioner
Todd Stephenson, retired from Lincoln Financial Group
Rick Stevenson, Wayne Township trustee
Sam White, senior adviser to the dean of engineering and technology at IU-PU Indianapolis

Didn’t we already, in essence have a transportation authority that handled bridge maintenance?  One that if not through statute, at least in precedence controlled this area?

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