Author and Government Reform Expert Urges Major Changes in Government and Schools
- May 08, 2009
A permanent financial crisis is facing local government and schools, and the only solution is to embrace major change in the way public institutions do business, offered David Osborne, nationally known author and government reform expert, during a Regional Chamber luncheon in Niles May 1.
Osborne said that government and the schools must break away from the rigid bureaucratic model of the 20th century and be:
• Agile, flexible,
• Responsive to customers,
• Continuously improving and
• Committed to squeezing more value out of every tax dollar, every year.
Osborne’s appearance was hosted by the Chamber’s Government Affairs Council and by EfficientGovNow, a program of the Fund for Our Economic Future. Sponsors of Osborne’s talks both in Niles and at the City Club in Cleveland were the Fund, the Raymond J. Wean Foundation and the Trumbull County Community Foundation.
The Regional Chamber has worked closely with the Fund to advance government collaboration and efficiency as part of the region’s Advance Northeast Ohio economic action plan. Osborne praised efforts by EfficientGovNow, the Regional Chamber and local government leaders for working to promote government collaboration, innovation and efficiencies.
Osborne’s topic was “Finding the Leverage for Change: The Five Strategies for Reinventing Government.” He said that government and school administrators should adopt the following:
• Clarity of purpose,
• Consequences for performance,
• Accountability to the customer,
• Decentralized control and
• A culture focused on innovation and results.
He suggested a major change: Local government must move to a budget process based on outcomes rather than one based on what was spent the previous year. Osborne also noted that to enable government and school managers to make the necessary changes and to react quickly to solve funding problems, the state legislature needs to revise laws that restrict managers from making the right decisions. He cited as examples onerous civil service and collective bargaining laws. “We have a system in government where you aren’t rewarded if you do a good job and you aren’t penalized if you do a bad job,” Osborne said. The state also needs to pass laws to make it easier for local governments and schools to collaborate and to provide incentives for such collaborations.
During the luncheon, Tony Paglia, the Regional Chamber’s vice president for Government Affairs, singled out local government leaders who are promoting government collaboration and efficiencies:
• Government leaders of the Mahoning County Metro Leaders Roundtable representing the cities of Youngstown, Struthers, Campbell and Canfield, Mahoning County, New Middletown and Poland villages and the townships of Boardman, Austintown, Canfield, Poland and Coitsville,
• Mahoning County Auditor Michael Sciortino,
• Trumbull County Engineer David DeChristofaro,
• Vienna Township Trustee Phil Pegg, chair of the Trumbull County Council of Governments and
• Ernest Cook, chief deputy of the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Department.
to hear an interview with Osborne that recently aired on WCPN, Cleveland's National Public Radio station. »back to news release archive