Today’s Burbmerger Roundup & Tales of Two Dispatch Centers

Several items in the news – two from today and others from the last week – all offering different narratives:

First, from Business Journal Daily, “Collaborations Expand Beyond Trumbull” an article that highlights action as well as talk about municipal collaborative efforts, a positive spin on merging dispatch centers:

For Tom Pascarella, director of administration for the city of Tallmadge, collaboration wasn’t only a best practice; it was a way to protect the city from dire financial straits. The city is saving $500,000 annually by combining police and fire dispatch services with the city of Stow.

Two notes on this article:

1. You can google up a bunch of articles about the dispatch arrangement, but here’s how it’s described on Stow’s website and here’s how it was described in March 2008 when it was first approved by Stow.  I’ve contacted someone I know on the Stow council to learn more about his impressions of the arrangement and will share them if that’s okay with him once we communicate.  I also have a friend who is running for Stow’s council and will be sure to ask her if she has an opinion about it too.

2. You can read the June 28 release from which the article was written here, and all the info about this Kent State project at what I believe is the website for the project itself (I’m not 100% clear on the naming), The Center for Public Administration and Public Policy, The Innovator’s Collaborative Series.

Now, on the other hand: “Regional dispatch center still adjusting to increased emergency calls”:

Since moving to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center last year, Dayton police, firefighters and medics complain they are sometimes sent to the wrong address, the wrong equipment is dispatched and updates on the dispatches are confusing.

Dayton’s move to regional dispatch — which almost doubled the center’s call load — was billed as means for the city to save millions at the same time provide the same or better service as the previous local dispatch.

Prior to Dayton fire dispatch moving over in September and police in December, the center handled calls from 19 police departments and 10 fire departments throughout the county. Dayton fire and medic calls boosted the fire call load by more than double from 28,000 annually to an expected 60,000. Police calls went from 250,000 annually to an expected 450,000.

TWO CAVEATS: 1) READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE, please. 2) Here in Pepper Pike and the evolving Chagrin Valley Dispatch Council configuration, we are talking about tens of thousands of calls, NOT hundreds of thousands of calls.

Also: Here’s the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center’s website complete with a list of all the communities using it and here’s an FAQ page they have.

So please, read these articles and store the knowledge, but be reasonable in what you takeaway from them, yes? Good.

For the record, as many know, I have been pressing for Pepper Pike to get to the nitty gritty with the CVDC now – okay, yesterday.  But it is still very wise and planful to be aware of what can happen as changes are implemented elsewhere.

Next, the Portage County Tea Party posted this commentary, “All Politics is Local,” on the merger idea. Its conclusion:

Following the money requires knowing where to look to see who is spending it.     If a study of a merger were announced in your township/village/city tomorrow, would you know where to obtain the information and what to look at to determine if merging entities would be fiscally sound and responsible for current and future taxpayers?    Do you know the fiscal condition of your neighboring townships/villages/cities?

We the People need to watch our local governments and be prepared to participate in the debates, studies or attempts to change government forms as well as day to day operations.

I don’t think anyone will be mistaking me for a member of the tea party any time soon, but I agree 100% with those conclusions.

And on the Bratenahl Community Foundation Blog, a great piece to help people wrap themselves around merger concepts, “Exploring Merger and Collaboration Options for Bratenahl.”

What are Bratenahl’s options if it considered a merger? The most obvious one is a merger with the City of Cleveland, which I believe would be resisted in a significant way by Village residents. Merger choices are much easier for the four eastern suburbs mentioned above.

Choices are much easier for the four eastern suburbs because…why? 😉 Don Ianonne, I suspect you will see this post – I would love to hear how you see that (I’m awesome it’s because we’re not bounded by the lake and have other adjacent communities – but is that what you meant?).

Memoirs of an Amnesiac (aka Hank Drake) asks about and examines several merger possibilities for South Euclid in, “Should South Euclid merge (and with whom)?”

I also appreciate his comment about what the Moreland, Orange, Pepper Pike and Woodmere name might be:

There has been speculation about what the new suburb would be called, from Chagrin Hills to Pepperwood. The latter sounds too much like peckerwood, and is best left alone.

I still say the name should be crowdsourced via something like the IBM Collaboration Solutions Community IdeaJam which you can see here.

Come on, 2.0!  We can do this.

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