A group of Ohio Legislators have introduced legislation to create a commission on Local Government Reform and Collaboration. The legislation calls for an appointment of 9 people appointed by the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House and the Governor. The legislation calls for the final report to be due no later than July 1, 2010.
I say YEAH to the notion of a review of this nature. The citizens of Northeast Ohio who gave voice during Voices & Choices said it needed to happen in our region – so the state is in alignment with their thinking. In a network based society (which we are in now) versus a hierarchical society (which is what we had in centuries past), it concerns me to think that 9 people are going to issue recommendations that will affect 11+ million Ohioans and there is no mandate to engage or even listen to Ohio citizens in the process of defining the solutions. The best plan is one that the implementers are part of creating. I think the legislation should include some metrics and mid-term deliverables like:
1. Requirement of open, community-engaged processes that reaches no less than 10% of the entire state population (with appropriate documentation of said process reported on some regular basis).
2. Requirement that an online space be created where citizens of Ohio can track, monitor and engage with the Commission’s work and progress.
3. Requirement that each commission member participates in open forums and workshops (where action is initiated, not just talking taking place) and measure and report commission participation.
Without an open process, I think there is less likelihood of actionable recommendations.
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# Submitted by cthompson on Thu, 05/01/2008 – 13:42.
Editorial writers are getting on the bandwagon on the issue of government reform.
This Plain Dealer editorial today used examples of patronage jobs in Cuyahoga County to highlight the legislators’ call for a commission to examine government reform.
The Akron Beacon Journal editorial page earlier took up the cause, making the following point:
Ohioans rightly scratch their heads at neighboring communities battling to lure companies across little more than county lines. Such episodes are not sound economic development. Neither does it makes sense for so many townships and smaller cities to have their own police departments…To be sure, commission recommendations rarely translate directly into law. In this case, a vigorous conversation must be started. Local government in Ohio is outmoded and inefficient. Failing to take a hard look promises to be costly.
The two largest media outlets are supporting calls for reform. What do you the residents of the region have to say?