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Government Management

CGR has more than 90 years experience helping government and school district leaders tackle government management service issues. Top concerns include improving fiscal stability, reducing fiscal stress, sharing or consolidating services, developing or enhancing performance measures, or identifying ways to make service management more effective and efficient.

Featured Research

For ‘Skinny Ohio’ Initiative , State’s Auditor Turns to CGR


The Auditor of the State of Ohio reached out to CGR to facilitate a capital equipment sharing agreement among 2 dozen local governments in Lake County, just east of Cleveland. Part of Auditor Dave Yost’s “Skinny Ohio” initiative, his office intends to use the Lake County experience as a model that can be adopted by all of Ohio’s 88 counties. This kind of practical initiative, supported by state-level leadership, can be an effective approach for reducing the cost of local government across the nation.


Interactive Map Shows Special Districts on Long Island


Dozens of special districts on Long Island add to the patchwork quilt of governments providing services to residents. A new interactive map developed by the Long Island Index allows users for the first time to see the boundaries of all local service providers, along with information about how to reach the provider via telephone or Internet and when elections are held. CGR wrote an introductory report (see sidebar) to the project providing background and historical context. The service provider map adds another layer to the Long Island Index’s interactive maps, available here.


Plan Offers New Way to Maintain Roads & Bridges Efficiently


Brockport WebsiteCGR evaluated ways 31 local governments in Herkimer County NY might maintain roads and bridges within the county more efficiently. The report is designed to be a long range planning document for the local governments. Using GIS mapping along with data about expenditures, personnel, equipment and facilities, CGR recommends consolidating the 19 town and 1 county barns into 8 zone barns, and having the county contract with the towns to provide both summer and winter maintenance for county roads. The plan would result in net cost reductions of up to $875,000, or roughly 2.7% of the current $35.5 million spent annually by municipalities across the county on routine road and bridge maintenance without compromising current service levels.


Local Development Corporations Need Public Scrutiny

CGR, with funding from the Beatrice Bibby Fund at CGR in cooperation with the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Rochester (NY), set out to identify the number, type and characteristics of local development corporations in the Rochester area. These quasi-government entities are not subject to the same public oversight as the counties, cities, towns or villages that create them, and are not tracked or monitored by any state body. CGR, in what is likely a first-ever report on a region in NY, identifies 16, with total assets ranging from $4,000 to $34 million, and finds the powers that allow them to do great good also leave them open to abuse. CGR urges state action.

The 2011 update notes changes occurring since the report was completed, including legislative action that creates an Authority Budget Office with oversight responsibility for LDCs, and a study completed by the Office of State Comptroller that concurs with many of CGR’s recommendations.


The Cost of Local Governments in Northeast Ohio – at Your Fingertips

Northeast Ohio, home to Cleveland, Canton, Youngstown and Akron, faces long-term economic challenges.  It is also home to the Fund for our Economic Future, an unprecedented multi-faceted collaboration dedicated to regional economic transformation. With financial support from area funders, the Fund engaged CGR to assess the cost of local government services and compare those costs with peer regions. For this project, CGR built a comprehensive cost and revenue database for local governments in the 16-county Northeast Ohio region and comparison regions in Columbus, Dayton, Indianapolis, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Raleigh-Durham. We put this “data dictionary” into an interactive, user-friendly web format to allow anyone to ask questions and develop answers from the data. Our web design format helps meet the project’s goal of spurring more informed public discourse and decision making.


Tale of 2 Suburbs: Comparative Analysis of the Cost of Local Government

For the Long Island Index,CGR conducted a landmark study comparing local government costs in the 2 counties on Long Island with 2 comparable counties in northern Virginia. Including school districts and special districts, Long Island has 439 local government entities compared with 17 in northern Virginia. Long Island governments spend 45% more, per capita, than their northern Virginia counterparts, and local property taxes are 55% higher on Long Island. Yet a separate comprehensive survey of both regions found that citizens in northern Virginia rate the level of service provided by local governments and schools higher, and say they have better access to government officials. CGR’s detailed analysis of school district and fire services illustrated that a fragmented management structure restricts cost-effective use of resources and thus, in New York State, is a significant contributing factor to high costs and high taxes for local government.


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