Cayuga County (NY) Organizational Assessment
CGR conducted a comprehensive organizational assessment and analysis of government operations and organizational structures for Cayuga County, New York. At the County’s request, CGR evaluated pathways to cost reductions, the structure of County departments and staff, areas where County operations were unproductively siloed, and opportunities to combine departments to improve efficiency, economies and synergies. The project involved a comprehensive existing conditions review examining current structures and their efficacy; identification of policies and procedures that impede productivity; exploration of alternative ways to organize the County; and evaluation of the impacts of those alternatives. CGR produced more than two dozen recommendations for improvement, both intra-departmental and organization-wide in nature. The County moved to implement several recommendations, including those addressing its administrative structure and the role (and span of control) of the County Administrator.
Tompkins County (NY) Criminal Justice/Jail Population Needs Assessment
CGR was hired by Tompkins County to assess the County jail, the County’s criminal justice system, alternative-to-incarceration and other criminal justice programs, policies and practices affecting the jail and its inmate population, trends over time in the numbers and characteristics of that population, and future jail population projections under various scenarios and assumptions. Substance abuse and addiction were addressed in depth as key issues driving trends at the jail, including examination of the drug courts, alcohol and drug assessments, and rehabilitation and detoxification programs. As a result of following CGR’s recommendations, the County has seen a substantial reduction in its incarcerated population and was able to avoid building a new jail. The project website is at https://www.cgr.org/TompkinsCrimJust/
Chautauqua County Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Plan
In 2017, the State of New York created a competition to encourage communities to improve local government efficiency. Initial applications were reviewed in Phase I and the winners—Chautauqua County, Madison County, Montgomery County, Otsego County, Ulster County and Town of Brookhaven—were granted funds to support a Phase II submission for the $20 million prize. Chautauqua County chose CGR to coordinate a bid that eventually involved nearly all local governments in the county and a few from adjacent Cattaraugus County. CGR’s role was expansive, including the coordination of existing proposals, the solicitation and development of new ideas and the fiscal impact analysis of all submission components. CGR met with representatives of nearly all of the 42 municipalities in the County to discuss a range of options from consolidating the fire services and police departments to sharing water system operators and municipal buildings. Although this application was not selected, the planning process led to improved relationships and informal sharing of services in the County.
Town Management in Seneca Falls
The Town of Seneca Falls retained CGR in 2021 to assess the Town’s operations, organizational structure, staffing and budget process. The study also considered whether the Town would benefit from additional management and researched leadership options. The Town of Seneca Falls experienced major changes in the 10 years preceding the study, absorbing a Police Department, water and sewer systems, and various other services and infrastructure from the Village of Seneca Falls after its government dissolved in 2012. CGR’s study found that despite these additional responsibilities, the Town’s administrative structure had not changed since 2012 and was still led by a part-time Town Board and Supervisor. As a result, many basic functions of local government (capital planning, personnel management, timekeeping, purchasing) were diffused across Town departments, which approached these responsibilities in different ways. CGR recommended three options to strengthen Town management: Establishing a town manager position, making the Supervisor full-time, or adding hours and pay to the existing part-time Supervisor role. Other recommendations included developing a multi-year town-wide capital plan; developing a new comprehensive plan; and adopting a centralized timekeeping system. As of early 2022, the Town was seeking to hire a town manager.
Essex County EMS Strategic Plan
Implementing recommendations from a 2016 CGR engagement, Essex County changed dispatch protocols, improved data management and increased service-sharing among the County and partner agencies to improve EMS services to residents. The County has established a county wide EMS ALS response system that became operational in 2020. Essex County had engaged CGR to undertake a comprehensive strategic plan as part of an effort to enhance the provision of EMS care in this rural county. The project involved extensive interviews, focus groups and data analysis to identify current and pending gaps in the EMS system. Then, a series of recommendations ranging from minor work practices to the development of a new response system were prepared in coordination with local officials. The longer-term changes include the development of state legislation to enable the creation of a county-wide ambulance district, which is planned for the next legislative cycle. View the comprehensive report and data visualizations at www.cgr.org/essex-ems.