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Opportunities to Use Shared Services and Consolidation Strategies to Improve Efficiency, Effectiveness and Equity in Local Government Observations from Three City/Town Groups in Upstate New York

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Abstract:

NY’s Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness engaged CGR to analyze local governments (city and town) in the Oneonta, Norwich and Cortland areas and evaluate opportunities to share services and/or consolidate. CGR’s report of the issues and options in the 3 city/town groups focuses attention on workable and realistic ideas for the Commission to consider as future avenues to pursue for improving local government structures across NY.

Three themes emerged in the study: 1) there is no need for the state to require a “one-size-fits-all” solution; 2) shared services agreements or consolidations must be perceived as being equitable in order to succeed over time; and 3) to consolidate entire municipal entities, creative solutions are needed in order to overcome challenges of outdated borders, imbedded procedures, legal constraints and historical differences.