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Regional Cooperation -- Can we have more and pay less?

Original post made by Timothy Gray, Charleston Meadows, on Sep 25, 2012

We can do more with less by reaching out and creatively exploring regional cooperation in providing municipal services.

It seems like an easy statement to agree with, but have we really given the "Cooperation" word a robust try when it comes to services provided by the City of Palo Alto?

That is a sincere question, and I would like to generate examples where we have successfully applied this approach, and have a robust community conversation about possible measures of this sort that would deliver a win-win.

Can we do more? How about disaster planning and public safety? As an example, disasters and criminals don't really pay attention to political boundaries.

It is normal in businesses to find a "not invented here" attitude which has a false underlying assumption that "no body can do it as good as we can." Dissolving that attitude is one of the top actions that leadership can take in creating efficiencies.

Within the City, we already have a notable example of cross-departmental cooperation with Police Chief Dennis Burns taking on the additional role of Fire Chief. To really make room in our future budgets for infrastructure renewal, we need to creatively decrease our operating expenditures. Some smart planning now will save us a lot of pain in the future.

Thanks for your ideas and I hope you agree that this is a worthwhile discussion. If there are links to previous studies, please offer that in a post. We don't want to re-create the wheel, but we want to gather the best ideas and advocate for taking them one step forward.

Timothy Gray (full disclosure: I am a candidate for the Palo Alto City Council. www.Vote4gray.com)

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