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Zettek, Charles


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Charles Zettek Jr.
Director of Government Management Services
"Opportunities for Local Government Efficiencies – Real Examples from Across the State"

Published in: News & Politics, Business
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Zettek, Charles

  1. 1. Opportunities for Local Government Efficiencies – Real Examples from Across the State May 19, 2009 Charles Zettek Jr. Director of Government Management Services 585-327-7068 or
  2. 2. What are factors for success? <ul><li>Is the objective structural change or real and measurable savings? </li></ul><ul><li>Are savings measured as local tax savings or true net savings within the system? </li></ul><ul><li>Assume – want to achieve real savings, not simply a tax shift. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Structure versus System Costs <ul><li>Structure costs – inefficiencies caused by too many decision makers – too many layers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Basic governance cost question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Costs optimized within borders but not regions </li></ul></ul>
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  5. 5. Structure versus System Costs <ul><li>System Costs – inefficiencies caused by requirements imposed on everyone </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: laws governing hiring in the public sector: Taylor, Civil Service, Triborough </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stifles creative alternative solutions </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Measuring Real Savings <ul><li>Differentiate between: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>cost efficiencies ($), </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>process efficiencies (time) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>knowledge efficiencies (results) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cost shifts are not real NET savings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But, cost shifts can reduce local property taxes </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Real Examples - 1 <ul><li>Fire Example #1 – Town of Brighton/City of Rochester IMA </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Town pays City $100,000/year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>City provides immediate call response from City fire station </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Savings: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Real costs – efficient use of costly equipment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Response time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing expertise </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Real Examples - 2 <ul><li>Fire example # 2 - Villages of Johnson City and Endicott – Shared Fire Chief </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Both villages have full-time career fire departments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussing sharing one chief </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Savings: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Share cost of a chief </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Structural efficiencies – can manage as two units within a larger combined group </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Real Examples - 3 <ul><li>Police examples – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Town of Clay police dissolution – contract with Sheriff for specified service. $900,000 savings from staff reductions and other efficiencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other town/village police consolidations – Lancaster, Evans - true cost reductions </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Real Examples - 4 <ul><li>Courts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Village courts dissolved – merged with Town: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Albion, Brockport, Oakfield </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cost and process efficiencies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shelby-Ridgeway Joint Town Court – 2003 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced from 4 justices to 2 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Savings: - $14,000/year </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>True consolidation </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Real Examples - 5 <ul><li>Public Works – Town and Village of Cobleskill </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Single combined department with one Director of Public Works </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Costs shared 50/50 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overseen by joint oversight board </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>True cost savings: personnel - $50,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also process and knowledge efficiencies </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Real Example # 6 <ul><li>Central Business Office in BOCES – Broome –Tioga, Greater Southern Tier, Otsego Northern Catskills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prime benefits – fewer staff, integrated systems (I.T.), knowledge efficiencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Savings are real, but also result in cost shifts from local property taxes to BOCES </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Real Example #7 <ul><li>One Batavia – Town and City of Batavia Consolidation Discussions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Public debate over the summer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interesting questions – what will be the benefits, and what are the risks (i.e. does one side win at the expense of the other) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two tiered taxing system examples exist – Rome, Oneida, Saratoga Springs </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Conclusion <ul><li>So far have not reduced the number of governments (high level structures) </li></ul><ul><li>Have reduced internal structures </li></ul><ul><li>Have reduced real costs (although small %) </li></ul><ul><li>More people are looking at fundamental changes – dissolution and consolidation. </li></ul>