What's Cuyahoga County doing to promote regionalism?

BEACHWOOD, Ohio -- We've seen a dramatic example of feel-good regionalism in recent weeks, as Cuyahoga County and Northeast Ohio has been "AllIn" with the Cavaliers pursuit of the NBA Championship.

Now, as more and more Cuyahoga County cities cope with state funding cuts, shrinking populations and growing costs, it seems a good time to revisit possibilities for a more regional collaborative approach to government.

Does Cuyahoga County really need 57 municipalities, fire and police departments, service departments and other duplicated agencies?

So many cities and school systems have been forced to ask residents to hike taxes. Wouldn't more cooperation and cost-sharing make sense?

There have been tentative, unsuccessful efforts to explore a merger of some cities. A batch of east side suburbs considered joining on former County Executive Ed Fitzgerald's watch but, ultimately, called off the prospective marriage because residents wanted to preserve community identities.

FitzGerald offered county with a menu of sharing employee health insurance, phone support , sewer maintenance and employee training .

But not many cities enrolled.

Some cities are partnering on certain issues.

But what are new Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish's thoughts and plans to encourage a more metropolitan/regional way of thinking here?.

What is the agenda that Budish's new Director of Regional Collaboration Eddy Kraus will promote?

We should get some insights Wednesday (June 17). Budish and Kraus will discuss and disclose their regionalism goals.

They are panelists in a forum in the Northeast Ohio Public Policy Series, which explores topics of importance to the region..

WKYC's Tom Beres will be the moderator seeking answers in a session called "Regional Cooperation or How to Get 59 Civic Entities to Play Together."

The program will be held at the Siegal Facility at 26500 Shaker Boulevard in Beachwood from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Admission is free.

Hopefully, the Cavs have rebounded and are still battling for the championship by then.

Follow WKYC's Tom Beres on Twitter @TomBeres


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