Facilitation

For 25 years, the Center has offered a wide range of Technical Assistance Services for governments.  In response to the growing demand for assistance in this area, the Center now offers help with facilitation of a collaborative effort.  The following information highlights projects in this area. 
For more information on how the Center can help you, visit the Management Support Services section of our site, or contact the Center by phone (330) 672-7148 or e-mail cfpapp@kent.edu.
  • The Northeast Ohio Collaborative Network (2010 - 2011)

Developed in a partnership with the Center and the Fund for Our Economic Future, this new collaboration of northeast Ohio communities encompasses the region's innovators in the arena of intergovernmental collaboration.
There are 11 counties and 31 governments and organizations involved in the Network, thus providing a substantial representation from throughout the region.  The group was established in the Fall of 2010 and is scheduling follow up meetings for 2011 to enable local governments in northeast Ohio to improve the efficiency and effectiveness with which they provide services to citizens.
  • EfficientGovNow Finalists - Informational Sessions (2009 - 2011)

EGN PAGE
The Fund for Our Economic Future (The Fund) initiated the EfficientGovNow (EGN) grant program in early 2009 to promote and motivate the practice of intergovernmental collaboration in Northeast Ohio.  Entities submitted proposed collaborative efforts, and residents voted to award grant funding to the three proposals with the highest numbers of votes. The Center has hosted many gatherings of the programs' participants to discuss ways in which communities in our region can work more effectively together to foster economic development, improved public services, and government efficiency.  These sessions create an atmosphere for networking and idea exchanges - constructing an opportunity to learn about other collaborative efforts in Ohio, in particular in the Northeast Ohio region.
  • Summit County Health and Human Services Stakeholder Meeting (2010)

The Summit County Health Department's Social Services Advisory Board requested the Center's assistance in facilitating discussions among social services agencies and non-profit organizations in Summit County.  The Center hosted a retreat in July 2010, gathering board members and other involved personnel to discuss coordinated planning, service provision, and cost savings efforts among the public and non-profit public service providers in attendance.
The discussion was structured in three phases, beginning with overview of current collaborative arrangements.  The Advisory Board then reviewed successful plans in neighboring counties in an effort to agree upon organizational arrangements and next steps to achieve cost savings and improved social services in Summit County.
  • The Mayors Think Tank (1994 - 2008)

Think Tank Logo
In 1994, The Honorable Beryl E. Rothschild, mayor of University Heights in Cuyahoga County, Ohio approached the Center with a proposal to establish a Mayors' Think Tank in Northeast Ohio.  The group consisted of current elected mayors and recently retired mayors from suburban municipalities and villages – with a goal to use their combined experience and knowledge to discuss public policy issues facing local government officials and to develop "white papers" on these issues. he group served as an intellectual collaboration between the University and local entities, encompassing eighteen different communities spanning the jurisdictions of Cuyahoga, Portage, and Summit Counties.
Throughout its 14 year lifespan, the Mayor's Think Tank produced 10 significant policy papers which add to the intellectual knowledge of municipal government.  These documents have become a resource for law makers to draw upon in making better decisions regarding municipal government.  The Mayors Think Tank research papers have since aided local governments throughout the region, and can be accessed here.
  • Gates Mills Safety Services Project (2007)

The Village of Gates Mills, Ohio contracted with the Center in 2007 to conduct a study of the safety forces in Gates Mills.  The project aimed to determine whether safety services might be supplied to Gates Mills residents more economically through cooperative agreements with neighboring service providers.  
The study examined the current operating structure and budget for safety services in the community, which includes the police department, fire department, and emergency medical services.  Following this assessment of current services, interviews were conducted with numerous employees of the Village of Gates Mills.  The Mayors of two neighboring communities were also interviewed in order to gauge their reactions on current and potential cooperative service provision.
The results highlighted potential opportunities for the Village to increase cooperation and networking of services with nearby jurisdictions.  However, the community chose to maintain current services levels which they felt met the needs of their citizens.
  • NOPEC Establishment and Strategic Plan (2004)

The Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) is an organization of local government members in Northeast Ohio that work cooperatively to provide a competitive environment for cost savings for individual consumers of natural gas and electricity.  By 2001, statewide legislation was passed issuing the deregulation of Ohio's gas and electricity.  In a response to this legislation, NOPEC established a 9 countywide area which includes 129 communities to aggregate costumers and negotiate utility rates. 

In 2004, the Board of NOPEC requested that the Center conduct a review of its organizational structure and assist in preparing a strategic plan to provide guidance for decisions in initiating new programs, and a revised organizational structure to provide these programs in an efficient manner.  The Center held four board retreats to help develop the mission and vision of NOPEC, and facilitate discussions of future goals and steps to reach them.  The NOPEC has been operating collaboratively since that time to provide needed utility services in member communities.

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