Northeast Ohio Group examines possible regional approach

Regional Governance is a must. Ohio has over 3800 jurisdictions; there is a cost to this fragmentation. Creating incentives for regional collaboration and governance experiments through shared support services, county or metro-wide efforts to increase efficiencies will reduce administrative costs. There are also opportunities for agency realignment & collaboration through aligning state departmental (e.g. ODOT, OBOR & ODOD) strategic plan recommendations.

Many community leaders recognize the inefficiencies of Ohio's current government and are coming together to create a new way to conceptualize Ohio's economy. The Regional Prosperity Initiative (RPI) taking place in Northeast Ohio appears to have the most headway in creating a new conceptualization of how Ohioans do business. The Regional Prosperity Initiative is composed of multiple drill down teams which collaboration to create policies that, once implemented, "will provide the structure for region-wide land use planning and new growth revenue sharing in the 16-county Northeast Ohio region. In short, the RPI will allow our region to plan, share and grow…together" (Click for more information).

A recent article by Governing magazine, Ready-to-Go Regionalism has caught many leaders' attention. This article argues that regional governance is desirable but rarely a priority for America's Metropolitan areas due to the inability for agreement, often due to the myriad of political jurisdictions, coupled with the unwillingness of cities, counties, suburbs and townships to sacrifice for regional governance creates a huge roadblock. However, it argues that many of these areas unknowingly have a regional government through their Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs). The strength of these MPOs varies with each city but may be a vehicle, if stregthened with the upcoming federal transportation bill, to create metropolitan regions.