A group of community leaders that has been exploring strategies to encourage a more regional approach to delivering government services is urging local government officials to implement recommendations from a recently completed study on Emergency Services in the metro Lansing area. The group of regional business executives, Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon, and the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC), have been meeting for a year in efforts to develop a unified regional agenda that would improve the delivery of government services and enable the region to be more competitive in attracting and retaining business investment and jobs.
In a recent letter to supporters, President Simon and LRCC President and CEO Tim Daman cited the need for follow-up on a pair of benchmark reports that
provided insight into the efficiency of local government in the Metro Lansing region. Dr. Eric Scorsone’s Greater Lansing Fiscal Scorecard revealed that the
region has 77 local units of government including 12 cities, 14 villages and 48 townships. Collectively, the services delivered by these governments represent
a $500 million enterprise.
The recently released Plante Moran Emergency Services Study calls for an incremental approach to consolidating fire services in the region. The study recommends the region begin with increased service sharing, including automatic mutual aid, and move towards the creation of an authority to include, at first, Lansing, East Lansing and Lansing Township. The letter states that the group intends to encourage Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas to move forward in implementing the recommendations.
The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce has plans to conduct polling research this summer involving citizens and business leaders, which will provide data about the public’s understanding and support for meaningful change in the provision of government services. The group of business leaders plans to meet again in September to review research results and discuss progress of the Emergency Services Study.