Northeast Ohio Government Collaborative Actions Highlighted in Kent State Research
Kent State University’s Center for Public Administration and Public Policy recently released a comprehensive inventory of nearly 250 collaborative projects that are actively happening or are being explored as ideas for possible implementation in Northeast Ohio. On June 30, the center followed up with the release of a collaborative action inventory of projects that are currently being implemented in Northeast Ohio. To view the research findings, visit www.kent.edu/intergovernmentalcollaboration.
“Local governments in our region are not just talking about collaboration – they are taking action,” says John Hoornbeek, director of the Center for Public Administration and Public Policy at Kent State. “In fact 58 percent of the roughly 250 collaborations we have identified are being implemented.”
Some of these joint projects are ambitious, such as the consolidation of health departments in Summit County or last week’s announcement of a potential merger among the communities of Pepper Pike, Orange, Moreland Hills and Woodmere in Cuyahoga County. Other projects are more targeted.
“The common thread is that local governments in Northeast Ohio are talking with one another and are implementing joint projects to save money and improve services,” Hoornbeek says. “The benefit of this inventory is that it can help local governments learn from one another and benefit from one another’s progress.”
In Trumbull County, Sheriff’s Department Deputy Chief Ernest Cook began working on an innovative concept early last year regarding fuel purchasing.
“Ohio is part of the Midwest fuel market, Pennsylvania is part of the East Coast fuel market and West Virginia is part of the Gulf States fuel market,” says David Rouan, director of administration for the Trumbull County Engineer's Office. “Since we are so uniquely positioned, Deputy Chief Cook found that a way for us to take advantage of these markets on a daily basis, and buy from the market that is the least expensive on any given day.
“On a daily basis, our vendor checks the prices of those three markets, and buys the fuel from the market that is the least expensive,” Rouan explains. “So far without exception, that price has been less than what the state purchasing prices have been. If our vendor’s prices aren’t less than the state purchasing price, we can still use the state program. It’s the best of both worlds.”
Initially, the program was only available to Trumbull County, but because of provisions in the state law, county commissioners were able to open up the program to other interested entities, including the city of Youngstown.
“We’ve estimated that the county highway department will save about $17,000 annually with this program.” Rouan says. “The savings range from a few pennies per gallon to sometimes 12 to 14 cents per gallon, and over a year’s time that certainly adds up. The program has been a big success, it’s saving dollars, it’s innovative and it can be replicated in other areas.”
For Tom Pascarella, director of administration for the city of Tallmadge, collaboration wasn’t only a best practice; it was a way to protect the city from dire financial straits. The city is saving $500,000 annually by combining police and fire dispatch services with the city of Stow. Moving the city’s building inspection process to Summit County and utilizing the services of the regional income tax agency have resulted in additional savings of approximately $220,000 annually.
Another innovative collaboration is in the process of being implemented in Tallmadge involves technology that has been making the news lately. For phone and data lines, the city is moving to the new cloud technology, which will result in savings of approximately $50,000 annually.
“We thought we would have two or three entities collaborating with us on the cloud, and it’s now up to 17 communities,” Pascarella says.
“These four initiatives are saving us more than $800,000,”Pascarella says. “This is significant, as our local income tax collections are down about $1 million because of the recession, so these efforts really helped us get through the financial crisis. Without these cost savings, we would be in severe financial condition.”
Pascarella, who received a Ph.D. from Kent State in 1980, now teaches courses in public administration at the university.
“Through John Hoornbeek and Kent State’s Center for Public Administration and Public Policy, I have been introduced to a number of government officials throughout Northeast Ohio, including folks from Warren, Youngstown, Cleveland, Canton and Sandusky,” Pascarella says. “It really helps to set a sense of how others are addressing these problems. The center has become a really valuable resource for me. It’s been a godsend.”
The findings released today were supported by the Fund for Our Economic Future and the Knight Foundation through its Civic Commons Initiative.
For more information on Kent State’s Center for Public Administration and Public Policy, call 330-672-7148. To view the research findings, visit www.kent.edu/intergovernmentalcollaboration.
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Introduction to Proposal Development in Coeus
Kent State’s Research and Sponsored Programs is pleased to announce that online registration is now available for an Introduction to Proposal Development in Coeus. This demonstration will orient proposal creators to the basics of navigation and proposal development in CoeusLite.
Coeus is Kent State's new research and compliance, grant acquisition and management system (developed by MIT) All proposal applications to external funders on behalf of Kent State University must be submitted through Coeus.
Six sessions are currently being offered for summer, including both in-person and webinar demonstrations. From the ABC sign-up page, search for Coeus to view all available sessions and additional information concerning this demonstration.
Please contact Amanda Lindsay at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-672-3026 if you have questions concerning this training opportunity. Additional information about Coeus may be found at the Coeus Users Portal at www.kent.edu/research/Coeus/index.cfm. Online registration link: https://reg.abcsignup.com/view/view_month.aspx?as=55&aid=KENT&wp=137.
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Updates From the Campus Kitchen at Kent State University
The Campus Kitchen at Kent State University is in need of volunteers for a wide variety of tasks. The opportunities include much more than cooking or kitchen work. Volunteers are need for meal delivery, meeting and talking with the clients, marketing, informing potential food recovery sites about the organization’s mission, making sure the nutritional needs of clients are met and more. If you think you can lend a hand, contact Ann Gosky at 330-672-8004 or email@example.com.
Campus Kitchen workers are awaiting the return of student leadership team with the start of the fall semester, and new members are encouraged to think about taking a leadership role. Those who are interested in learning more about these opportunities should contact Christine Sweeney at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sneha Jose at email@example.com.
The Campus Kitchen Boot Camp will be held Aug. 1, 2, and 3 in Washington, D.C. The camp is for those who are interested in learning more about the campus kitchen project and developing leadership skills. The Campus Kitchen at Kent State would like to send at least three people this year, and will pay for registration, lodging and transportation. Interested parties should contact Gosky at 330-672-8004 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit http://campuskitchens.org/blog/ckp-boot-camp/.
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Kent State Once Again Leads Mid-American Conference Schools in Directors’ Cup
For the 11th time in the last 12 years, Kent State University is the top Mid-American Conference finisher in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup. The 73rd-place national finish marks the 14th time in the 18-year history of the award that the Golden Flashes have been the number one MAC school in the rankings.
In addition to their national finish, the Golden Flashes were second among Ohio’s 13 Division I schools and 12th among non-BCS schools with 265 points. Kent State finished more than 100 points clear of Akron (163.5) — whose 102nd-place showing made it the next-best finisher in the MAC. Overall, Stanford finished with 1,550.25 points to easily outdistance runner-up Ohio State (1,277.05).
“Kent State athletics has long been synonymous with success both in competition and in the classroom, and this year’s achievements continue that tradition,” says Kent State Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen. “Across the board, our teams continue to succeed because of the support of the entire university and dedication of our fans, alumni and community.”
During the 2010-11 school year, baseball, men’s and women’s golf and gymnastics advanced to NCAA postseason play, while women’s outdoor track and field and wrestling scored team points through individual advancement to NCAA competition. All told, seven Golden Flash teams combined to win a total of nine Mid-American Conference championships (five tournament, four regular season) as Kent State earned its sixth Reese Trophy for overall men’s athletic excellence in the MAC.
The Directors’ Cup is presented annually by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, Learfield Sports and USA Today to the best overall collegiate athletics programs in the country in NCAA Divisions I, II, and III and the NAIA. Instituted in Division I for the 1993-94 school year, the Directors’ Cup measures an institution’s performance in up to 20 sports (10 men’s and 10 women’s) at the NCAA level.
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