Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wausau Daily Herald Looks at a Unified Local Government Service Model

Subtitle.  An Already Created Possibility: Marathon County Public Library Governance and Funding.

OK, so it's not an apples-to-apples comparison, as the Wausau Herald is envisioning a unified metro-area government service, not a countywide model.  (Plus I couldn't resist the play on words.)

Source:  Wisconsin Blue Book, 2009-2010.

Link to December 19 Wausau Daily Herald article, "Agenda 2010: Government administration costs more in Wausau area than in comparable cities".

Excerpt:   A Wausau Daily Herald review of 2010 budgets from the six largest municipalities in the area found that their residents spent nearly $8 million on government administration. That works out to $108 for each of the 74,040 people in the metro area.

That is more than is spent on general government services by the cities of Appleton, Green Bay, Racine or Waukesha, each of which is about the same size or larger than the combined Wausau area.

Those governments spend between $6 million and $7.8 million on general government, which includes services such as human resources and finance departments, municipal courts, administration of elections and other costs.

Only Appleton spends more per capita on general government costs than the residents of the Wausau metro area collectively.

The Wausau Daily Herald set out this year as part of its Agenda 2010 project to determine exactly how much money metro-area residents could save by streamlining government

Streamlining government.  It's likely they'll be a lot more interest in this topic once Governor-elect Scott Walker submits his 2011-13 biennial budget to the state legislature.

2010 Estimated Shared Revenue and Expenditure Restraint Payments.

At a minimum, library directors and trustees in Wisconsin should ask themselves 3 questions:

1.   What percentage of revenue in our municipality comes from intergovernmental aids?  (Maybe someone has created a handy-dandy pie graph similar to the one I found in Fond du Lac's 2011 budget proposal.)
2.   What will happen in our municipality if/when the "Intergov't" slice of pie is reduced in size?

3.  How are we preparing for this contingency?

Food for thought.

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