I am a more conservative manager when it comes to work travel. I realize the value of networking, interacting with others, but, I have not historically been a big travel fan. At present most travel to a regional center involves a 2-3 hour trip by car which ends up wiping out most of a day. Travel to the capitol is pretty much a two day venture. My "stay at home" manager predeliction is based on the idea that I need to be home to get work done. Two recent opportunities have opened my eyes to see how statewide initiatives can benefit small rural counties like Bayfield County, WI.
The two special projects I am working now include WISP or Wisconsin Innovation Scholars Program with the University of Wisconsin and the State Wide Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJC) with the State of Wisconsin.
Last night was the first State CJC meeting. Our County established a council in the late 1990's after a vibrant county board member pushed for alternatives to traditional incarceration methods. His work continued in a volunteer, monthly meeting format of the key departments for seven more years until it was decided to fund a staff person. Since then programs have expanded with a focus on evidence based practices. Over the past decade, it was reported at the meeting that nearly half the counties in Wisconsin have established CJCs. A CJC usually involves a month meeting of key criminal justice participants who want to create a more effective and efficient system that serves to reduce recidivism.
All units of government place an extremely high value on public safety, similiarly, the cost for criminal justice is the largest single expense catergory for our county.