Oswego, Montgomery, and Yorkville Shared Services Study
Efficient governmenance is a critical component of GO TO 2040, but achieving this goal requires innovation. Encouraging strategic coordination among municipal governments can ensure the continued delivery of high-quality local services to the region's residents. With assistance from CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program, the Villages of Oswego and Montgomery and the United City of Yorkville are conducting a study to analyze opportunities for service delivery that encourages coordination and joint service provision.
These three Fox River communities share many features and have similar demographic, land use, and economic development patterns, making them well-suited for service sharing. For instance, a prior market analysis of Oswego identified the communities as a distinct trade area for retail needs and recommended that the municipalities work together to coordinate economic development efforts and to promote broader cooperation. As a result, Oswego, Montgomery, and Yorkville are currently exploring ways to coordinate service delivery to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of municipal operations. This study's objectives are twofold: (1) to provide the communities with concrete strategies for collaboration across a range of services and (2) to develop recommendations for a process to guide the municipalities' ongoing collaboration. Together, these goals will equip the communities to take immediate actions to share services, as well as to build institutional capacity for collaboration in the long-run.
The planning process, which occurred over the course of a year from 2014-2015, aimed to increase the efficiency of municipal service delivery, identify a process for sharing services, recommend concrete shared services projects to implement, and share lessons learned from other efforts around the region. The study did not consider consolidation or layoffs of any kind, and is not intended to reduce the quality of municipal services.
The ultimate result of this process was the creation of the Lower Fox River Partnering Initiative, which provides a framework for long-term collaboration for shared service and joint planning.
The study was entirely driven by staff from all three municipalities. Through a series of over a dozen workshops, staff defined goals and identified opportunities to work together. A combination of municipal staff from each of the three communities sits on an Advisory Committee to provide oversight for the project. Additional municipal leadership and employees have been involved throughout this project. A series of focus groups with municipal staff was held in fall and winter 2014, and a follow-up meeting in April 2015 to report on progress and discuss challenges and lessons learned from another shared service initiative. These meetings have included leadership and staff from the Administrative Offices, Finance Departments, Community Development and Planning Departments, Public Works Departments, and Police Departments.
Oswego explores idea of shared services with Yorkville, Montgomery, Chicago Tribune, August 14, 2015
Cutting question: Time to reduce tax bodies? Aurora Beacon-News, May 31, 2014
Kendall County towns begin looking at sharing services, Aurora Beacon-News, April 29, 2014
Louise Yeung, CMAP Associate (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-386-8639)