When MORPC joined forces with the Educational Services Center of Central Ohio (ESC of Central Ohio), I was excited at the prospect of bringing people together to collaborate and share services, especially at a time when funding sources are limited.
A year later, the Central Ohio Regional Shared Services Steering Committee (CORSSSC) is in full swing, laying the foundation for shared services resources and strategies in the region. I’m proud to serve as Committee Co-Chair along with Franklin County Metro Parks Director John O’Meara.
I think a notable benefit of the Committee is its diverse membership. You certainly do not see the usual suspects around the table. Membership in the Committee is open to local government officials, school district leaders, non-governmental organizations, business executives, institutes of higher education, and citizens. Our members share an interest in having a deeper dialogue about how to increase efficiency, reduce costs and cooperate to provide higher level services to our constituents.
For a change of pace, I thought I would try a fun approach to portray the benefits of participating in CORSSSC, in the style of Late Show host David Letterman’s “Top Ten” list:
Committee members freely share their best practices and latest efforts in collaboration and shared services. Borrowing and stealing others’ ideas are highly encouraged. If you do not attend a meeting, you can always share online at www.forum.sharedservices.org.
I applaud our committee members for practicing what they preach. Outside our meetings, members have become ambassadors of collaboration in the region.
The Committee is a forum for discussion not only for shared services opportunities amongst members, but also for outside resources available to members. In a recent meeting, members learned about the Ohio Department of Development’s Local Government Innovation Fund which awards financial assistance to political subdivisions for shared services projects.
#7 Sounding Board
As a member of the Committee, you have a sounding board of esteemed peers with which to discuss ideas. With representatives from over 50 local jurisdictions and organizations, these discussions have great potential.
The exchange of dialogue keeps us in touch with our neighbors around the region. By looking at the big picture and understanding fiscal situations throughout the region, we can better plan for the future together.
Every Committee meeting begins with a buzzing chatter amongst our many members. This important ritual is a fun way to create new relationships that can become lasting partnerships.
#4 Hearing Success Stories
Creating new partnerships and ways to deliver services is often harder than it looks. We openly share the details of success, such as in the case of the new information technology collaboration between the City of Marysville, Union County and the Marysville Schools.
Opportunities abound in the Committee, where members are constantly seeking solutions in trying financial times. A good example of collaboration and cost-savings amongst members is sharing ways to increase joint purchasing for supplies and services.
When you join the Committee, you are joining a support network of regional peers, where you can both seek and share opportunities. Many of our members share similar struggles, and through coming together we can also share solutions.
The relationships formed in the Committee are invaluable. Through regular meetings, there is ongoing dialogue between members. Our struggles and strengths are magnified to an audience of regional peers, and opportunities begin to surface.
The next meeting of the Central Ohio Regional Shared Services Steering Committee is Wednesday, August 29 at the ESC of Central Ohio, 2080 Citygate Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43219. Join us and see for yourself what it’s all about.
Visit www.sharedservices.org for more info, and join the discussion at www.forum.sharedservices.org.
written by Laura Koprowski, Public & Government Affairs Director at the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission