Coping with Crisis

Dec 5, 2011

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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