PD Editorial: "Costs and benefits all point unmistakably to need for regionalization of municipal services"

Goodness knows I spend a lot of time on this in my day job, but a few words of caution: when capital needs total in the tens of millions, overselling regionalization as a panacea may cause frustration and disappointment.

I see the effort here as one that involves re-setting the default, permanently, so that when a public entity is faced with an identified need they want to fulfill, the first response is not automatically: how do we do this ourselves (including how to get the money from their taxpayers).  Rather, the default becomes to ask, think, consider: who else is doing this, how are they getting it done, can we do it together and if so, is that going to preserve our finances and fulfill the need?

Regionalism is about willpower and culture and mindset. It doesn't happen overnight, it shouldn't be overglorified, and it also shouldn't be demonized.  What it should be is given a chance - that includes succeeding and failing, because it does not always turn out to be the best thing. But you never know until you try, and there's not been that much of that going on either.

Here's the PD's piece.

No comments: