SE Michigan is hotbed for government collaboration talks

Michigan is well-populated with organizations and people studying how to develop better public policies and better governments. One such group is the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan.

A key part of their work is to survey government leaders to discern what's going on in the trenches of delivering public services.

Tom Ivacko and the team at CLOS-UP have agreed to provide us at 42 North a regular stream of interesting findings and tidbits gleaned from their surveys and other research. In today's inaugural look:

"42 percent of Michigan's local governments overall report they have been approached by a neighboring jurisdiction in the last 2 years to discuss some type of intergovernmental service sharing arrangement. This is most common in the state's largest jurisdictions, among whom 67 percent say they've been approached by neighbors (compared to only 30 percent among the smallest jurisdictions). And in terms of regions, it is most common in Southeast Michigan where 50 percent of local governments say a neighbor has approached them recently to discuss service sharing.

"Among jurisdictions that collaborate with another unit, 63 percent report that they collaborate on economic development activities. This increases to 90 percent among the largest jurisdictions. Even among the smallest jurisdictions, 48 percent report they collaborate with other local governments to help develop their economies.

"Local government employees are often assumed to oppose intergovernmental cooperation.  However, according to local government leaders across Michigan there is not much evidence for this. Only 6 percent of local leaders say the majority of their employees think there is too much service sharing now between their jurisdiction and other local governments. Meanwhile, 11 percent of local leaders say the majority of their employees think there is not enough service sharing currently."

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