Some of you may have seen the article linked to below in the Belmont Citizen
Herald or the Arlington Advocate:
I’m working with state representatives in my neighboring communities to
start a legislative conversation about regionalization.
Partial regionalization of some local government functions has long been
underway. But now seems like a time to step up efforts. As Selectman, I
found it difficult to make much progress on the issue — it’s hard to get
peers in other towns focused simultaneously. But I’m hopeful that from the
legislative level we can do a little better.
I am quoted as cautioning against expectations of quick fixes from
regionalization. Inertia is not my only concern. Here are some of the
reasons why regionalization may not work out:
(1) Sometimes bigger is not more efficient — building a regional hierarchy
in some functions may just add layers of management.
(2) A flat, small, locally fragmented organization may be not only more
efficient but more responsive.
(3) Sometimes the financial arrangements may be impossibly difficult to
negotiate, perhaps because the most obvious cost allocation approaches may
have the effect of forcing one community to bear costs associated with
But I do plan to work steadily with my colleagues on this issue over the
next couple of years. Public health and 911 response are two areas that are
perceived by many to be ripe for progress.