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The Sound of Ideas

Efficient Government Now--Quick Pitch

Posted Thursday, May 27, 2010

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Local government in Northeast Ohio costs taxpayers more than $16 billion each year and a sizeable portion of that involves duplication of services. How could the region be more efficient? That's the question EfficientGovNow is putting to citizens in a cash prize contest for the second year in a row. Leaders in the 16-counties are asked to put forward creative ways to make government dollars go further by collaborating more. Winners will be determined by popular vote. Thursday morning at 9, this year's finalists join host Dan Moulthrop to pitch their ideas.


Economy, Making Change, Regional Economy/Business - Analysis and Trends, Regional Economy/Business - News, Government/Politics, Other, Community/Human Interest


Miesha Wilson Headen, Richmond Heights City Council member
John Hoornbeek, director, Center for Public Administration and Public Policy at Kent State University
David Gilbert Water Distribution Supervisor, City of Geneva
Nathan Kelly Board Chair, First Suburbs Development Council
Donna Skoda Director of Planning and Policy, Summit County Combined General Health District
Albert Dispenza Director of Planning, Ashtabula County Board of Commissioners
Joseph J. Concato Project Manager, Stark Council of Governments
Gary W. Shaffer Engineer II, Trumbull County Engineer's Office,
John D. Hunter Mayor and Safety Director, Village of Sheffield
Erick Folkman Chief Information Officer, Lake County Central Communications
David Schroedel, director of Economic Development, Broadview Heights
Debora Flora Executive Director, Lien Forward Ohio Regional Council of Governments

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Bill 8:28 AM 5/27/10

We should have a Librarian at the table. He/she knows how to stretch a buck!

Jim Knapp 9:17 AM 5/27/10

I find it interesting there are no school districts on this list.

Ken Burdzinski 9:20 AM 5/27/10

Saving energy is wonderful and I am all for it, but as people use less energy, the utilities will raise their rates. I don’t know what the solution is to that, but for this reason I don’t think that someone can determine the payback time for cost of the program.

Gary W. Shaffer 11:32 AM 5/27/10

To finish my answer Dr. Hoornbeck’s question:  There has been a big push by Congessman Ryan for the development of an incubator and for Green technologies in general and there has been great news with the expansion of V&M;Steel and new carline at the GM Lordstown Plant.  As companies seek to develop or redevelop properties, an economic benefit will be realized through the mapping and posting of the County’s infrastructure, including water lines, sanitary sewer lines, and transportation infrastrucure.  Mpas will show the road widths, capacities, etc. and water, sanitary sewer, and storm sewer sizes and capacities will also be mapped.

Debora Flora, Executive Director, Lien Forward Ohi 1:00 PM 5/27/10

To John Hoornbeek’s question about the direction of land banking in Ohio:

New Ohio law takes effect in July that allows 40 counties to establish county land reutilization corporations, or county land banks, similar to the program underway in Cuyahoga County. The new law gives the land bank the right to work as a public entity in cooperation with local governments and raise private contributions from foundations and philanthropists to fund its work.

Another strong feature of the new law is the ability to shorten the legal process of land acquisition and transfer property directly to the land bank. Good homes can be saved, blighted homes can be demolished more quickly and land can be assembled for future development of green spaces, new businesses, etc.

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss our EfficientGovNow proposal. Good luck to all finalists.

diane hess 12:57 PM 6/1/10

I support this. We need help in our valley and anyway we can get it..Its worth it


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