Report, Article or Plan

Coping with Crisis

How are Local Governments Reinventing Themselves in the Wake of the Great Recession?

by Carl W. Stenberg

As the economic recession deepens, the nation's local governments have moved beyond a "business as usual" approach to cutting costs and improving efficiency. The premise for this paper is that America's cities, towns, and counties are currently in the process of reinventing themselves now that the easy measures have been adopted. This paper examines the scope of strategies considered by local governments using keywords from daily ICMA News Briefings from April 15, 2009 to April 15, 2011. According to the results of the research:

  • The majority of proposals were aimed at cutting expenditures rather than raising revenue.
  • Elected officials are examining the provision of core local services, but remain reluctant to enter into collaborative arrangements with other jurisdictions or private service providers.
  • Most of the responses collected were conventional and incremental as opposed to bolder, innovative strategies, though this could change in the coming years.

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Excellent document to read to garner ideas to reduce spending.


Excellent document to read to garner ideas to reduce spending.


Excellent document to read to garner ideas to reduce spending.


Excellent document to read to garner ideas to reduce spending.

Douglas Ayres

Douglas Ayres said

It is fortunate that the Great Recession came along. For several decades not local governments have been ignoring the potentialities of computerization as it could, and should, apply to the consumer of local government services.

In April I will have a book coming out that will in great detail relate how CONSUMER GOVERNMENT via the Art of Full Disclosure can be implemented. That is the name of the book, which will be offered to ICMA for districution. It took me 40 years of working in, with and for local governments to develop, design, and implement this MUNICIPAL BUSINESS SYSTEM. By its adoption local governments can recvover their financial equilibrium. More than 300 cities have done so by "running it like a business" via the MUNICIPAL BUSINESS SYSTEM.

If interested, e-mail me and I will provide you a synopsis and major points of the antidote to those who criticize local governments for not "being businesslike". The now can be that, and much more.

Jessica Melton

Jessica Melton said

This is an excellent document to read - even a year later.


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