Friday, August 24, 2007

Following up on the CONsolidation information





10 comments:

Mole # 6 said...

Hope this is easier to read…My computer is coal fired, and my taxes are too high to get another.

LEO Supporter said...

We posted the articles, and the text from them. I.E. scanned original document, and the content. Take your pick, and let us know if you have any questions.

Anonymous said...

I found the document earlier this morning on the Indiana policy review website.

They have great ideas. Andy Horning writes for them sometimes.

LEO Supporter said...

Here's one more:

Posted on Fri, Aug. 04, 2006
Consolidation study gives mixed review
The Indiana Policy Review recently released its study on “Consolidating Local Government: What Works and What
Doesn’t.” The summary that appears here is accompanied by the resolution approved by the Allen County Common
Council in support of the Allen County consolidation effort.
Mayor Bart Peterson proposed an ambitious plan to fully consolidate the city of Indianapolis and Marion County,
completing what many see as an inefficient “partial” consolidation begun in 1970.
Many can be excused for thinking that Indianapolis’s government was already consolidated. Unigov was created in 1970,
pulling administration, planning, building regulation, parks and recreation, and several other major urban services under
one roof.
Unigov, however, is not comprehensive. Now, Mayor Peterson wants to “complete the job ” by merging local fire
departments, police departments, tax assessment and other social services.
Skeptical of the mayor’s claims of more than $36 million in savings from consolidation, the last General Assembly
created an ad hoc Marion County Consolidation Study Commission chaired by Sen. Michael Young. The commission asked
the independent accounting firm Reedy & Peters and the Indiana Policy Review Foundation to do some homework and
report back. It’s a good thing it did.
The accounting firm found that after making some standard accounting adjustments, the projected savings plummeted
from $36 million to about $5 million.
The Indiana Policy Review Foundation, in turn, conducted research on the effects of consolidation on the efficiency and
effectiveness of providing local public services. We had a different task and focus. The commission asked the foundation
to summarize what experts thought about local government consolidation. We did this in two steps.
First, we reviewed the most recent academic research to determine how much evidence supported the idea that
efficiencies could be reaped from consolidating local services.
Second, we asked more than 80 experts who have researched these issues to answer a survey. Twenty-eight
responded, and we summarized their responses.
Cathie Rowand/The Journal Gazette
Jan Linn, Leo-Cedarville Town Council president, expresses her feelings about Fort Wayne-Allen County consolidation
during a meeting for towns and townships across eastern Allen County at the Grabill Fire Station.
Consolidation study gives mixed review Page 1 of 2
http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/news/local/15194777.htm?template=content... 8/7/2006
© 2006 Journal Gazette and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
http://www.fortwayne.com
Our results? Mixed. At best. Few services seemed to benefit from consolidation. Indeed, some seemed to become less
efficient as governments became bigger. This was particularly true for so-called “labor intensive ” services such as law
enforcement.
More interestingly, the experts we surveyed tended to be more positive about the effects of consolidation than the
published academic research. An expert consensus seemed to indicate that consolidation would improve regional
economic performance, but the evidence from published studies is clearly mixed.
At least one major study concluded that Indianapolis experienced no significant economic impact. On the other hand, a
consensus existed among experts, and was supported by research, that consolidation does not reduce taxes.
While many seemed to believe consolidating fire services and tax assessment would improve efficiency or effectiveness,
they were significantly split on the impact of consolidating police.
A clue toward making sense of the divergent expert opinions may be found by re-examining the primary assumption
underlying Indianapolis Works, Mayor Peterson’s consolidation plan, i.e., comprehensive consolidation will increase
efficiency. Consolidation does not assure service-delivery improvements.
Services must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. A political scientist surveyed, Laura Reese, may have said it best:
“In short, some things have stayed the same, some things have improved, and some things have become more
complicated.”
Ironically, full-scale consolidation may be killing the goose that laid the golden egg. The “partial” consolidation of
Indianapolis under Unigov represented an incremental step toward improving efficiency that was both practical and
realistic. Rather than merging everything, leaders consolidated a few services that seemed to lend themselves most
efficiently to regional approaches at the time.
Ball State University planner James Segedy and University of Louisville’s urban development expert Thomas Lyons think
Indianapolis may have been on to something important when it created Unigov. “(Indianapolis’s) somewhat quirky
approach to regionalism,” they write, “may be more than a mere curiosity. It may actually be a model for certain types
of communities.” The key for communities is to think beyond a “one size fits all approach.”
Based on the evidence, community leaders looking for across-the-board benefits by making sweeping across-the-board
changes to local government are likely to be disappointed. Indeed, they may be worse off if the new system of
government has less accountability and fewer incentives to provide services efficiently.
This executive summary draws on the work commissioned by the Indiana Policy Review Foundation for the Marion
County Consolidation Study Commission. The principal authors were: Dagney Faulk, Ph.D., associate professor of
economics at Indiana University Southeast; D. Eric Schansberg, Ph.D., adjunct scholar of the foundation and professor of
economics at Indiana University Southeast; Suzanne Leland, Ph.D., an assistant professor of public administration at the
University of North Carolina-Charlotte, and Samuel R. Staley, Ph.D., adjunct scholar of the foundation and director of
Urban and Land Use Policy at the Reason Foundation. Contact them at indystudy@inpolicy.org
Consolidation study gives mixed review Page 2 of 2
http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/news/local/15194777.htm?template=content... 8/7/2006

varangianguard said...

These scans were very good. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Thanks,

I was going to suggest the Fuji Snap Scan and Adobe (and even provide a small donation). But it looks like you have it under control.

Oncce again thanks for providing this information.

LEO Supporter said...

Thank you for the kind comments, we're adding things as we can and will do our best to make things work.

LEO Supporter said...

The Effects of City-County Consolidation: A Review of the Recent Academic Literature
A Report Prepared by the
Indiana Policy Review Foundation
Fort Wayne, Indiana
www.inpolicy.org
for the
Marion County Consolidation Study Commission Indiana General Assembly
Project Director:
Samuel R. Staley, Ph.D.
Reason Foundation and Indiana Policy Review Foundation
(e) sam.staley@reason.org
(v) 937.848.8896
Principal Investigators:
Dagney Faulk, Ph.D. Indiana University Southeast
Suzanne M. Leland, Ph.D. University of North Carolina-Charlotte
D. Eric Schansberg, Ph.D. Indiana University Southeast
November 16, 2005
Survey of Consolidation Research
Indiana Policy Review Foundation,
Version #6, p. 1
The Effects of City-County Consolidation: A Review of the Recent Academic Literature
Executive Summary
The Indiana General Assembly is currently considering legislation that would allow for the further consolidation of public services in Marion County and the city of Indianapolis. At the request of the Marion County Consolidation Study Commission, we reviewed the recent academic research on the effects of local government consolidation to identify key issues, questions, and impacts that might help inform commission members as they deliberate on proposals. A careful review of the literature yields some narrow but relevant findings that are consistent with economic theory and pertinent to local government practice.
A few studies have focused on the effects of the 1969 consolidation of the Indianapolis and Marion County governments. This literature suggests that consolidation was essential for Indianapolis to revitalize its downtown, foster regional thinking, and may have contributed to economic growth in the region.
Beyond Indianapolis, the more recent literature suggests that police services do not often experience economies of scale as the level of production increases. Thus, creating larger departments through the consolidation of police services will not likely lead to lower costs of provision.
The literature on consolidation and general government performance seems to point to mixed effects. Reese's summary (p. 605) is perhaps indicative of the literature in this area: "In short, some things have stayed the same, some things have improved, and some things have become more complicated. The outcomes.. .have been mixed." In general, it is uncommon (although not impossible) for operating costs to decrease—due primarily to the "leveling up" of salaries and benefits. As local governments with differing compensation structures are consolidated, salaries and benefits are often standardized at the higher level.
Consolidation hopes to influence economic development through more efficient provision of public goods, a more coherent regional strategy to attract businesses, and addressing environmental issues and other externalities (e.g., growth issues like sprawl and traffic congestion). The literature indicates a modest but positive correlation between consolidation and economic growth, but this correlation is less impressive when compared to statewide economic growth and growth in comparable areas without consolidation.
Perhaps the most pertinent conclusion from the literature is that government consolidation can lead to serious morale problems among government employees as distinct government units are merged. Differences in policies, compensation scales and employee classification systems are difficult to reconcile. The complexity of the transition and the resulting stress and uncertainty are often identified as a key reason for low morale. Such problems can persist for several years after consolidation. The literature suggests that morale issues are closely tied to the manner in which
Survey of Consolidation Research
Indiana Policy Review Foundation,
Version #6, p. 1
these differences are resolved. This suggests that these issues should be addressed carefully and in depth when considering consolidation.
The few studies that focus on citizen satisfaction suggest that citizens of consolidated governments have equivalent or higher levels of satisfaction with local government and the services provided. With respect to police services, the findings of McDavid (2002) were that citizens did not perceive a substantial difference in service quality before and after consolidation.
From the limited number of studies available on the effects of city-county consolidation, the various research methods used, and conclusions drawn from them, it is possible to draw a few relevant conclusions.
1. Significant gains in efficiency are unlikely.
2. Significant gains in perceived service quality are more likely but by no means assured.
3. When making modest changes to city governance—consolidating a few units of service provision—it is unlikely to significantly impact economic development.
4. Morale problems are a potential land mine with any effort to consolidate governmental units, especially those which differ considerably.
5. Context matters.
The results of the literature are spotty and often built on case-by-case analysis. Thus, the literature can best point to general principles. Beyond that, any given effort to consolidate can be done well or done poorly; and consolidation can be sold one way in theory and be done another way in practice, hi a word, the literature is helpful but not definitive in establishing whether any given effort to consolidate will be beneficial for the community.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the information re: Indy Works. We know it doesn't & that apparently it never could have, but our notorious mayor & CCC did it anyway under the guise of "saving" money. Is it in your accounts 'cause it sure isn't showing up anyplace else??!!!

Let's ask Bart himself about this! He's one of several guests who will be at the Property & Income Tax Forum, Sun. 8/26 (tomorrow)@ Light of the World Church on Michigan Rd., 5-8pm. Should be an "enlightening" evening!!!

Anonymous said...

Thats why I am moving from this God forsaken rat hole. It will take decades to recover from Barts corruption and fiscal mismanagement.

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