The underlying tension between the urban center and the suburban fringe that permeates the findings throughout this study is particularly relevant to an examination of the political structures in Clark County. Indeed, one could argue that a principal source of indigenous political conflict over the last several years has been a local manifestation of the national trend toward segregation along class and racial lines and fragmentation of political authority in metropolitan areas creating what one scholar has referred to as the Amulticentered metropolis@ (Harrigan, 1993, p. 275). Much already has been noted in previous chapters about Clark County=s racial and class segregation. This chapter will focus primarily on the degree to which political authority is fragmented in Clark County and on how this may be significantly related to Springfield=s relative elasticity.
We begin with a discussion of the concept of fragmentation by looking at how in general political fragmentation in metro areas has occurred nationally and at how scholars have defined and measured it. Additionally, a new measure of fragmentation developed for this study will be introduced. This will be followed by a review of the academic literature dealing with the advantages and disadvantages of political fragmentation, including what other scholars have found about its effects on the costs of government. The next section will then take a close look at the degree of political fragmentation in Clark County and make some comparisons to other counties in Ohio and to other metro areas in the country. Finally, we shall ask whether fragmentation can and/or should be reduced in Clark County using the attempt to consolidate the health districts as a case study of the obstacles and opportunities awaiting such efforts.
The ACrabgrass Frontier@ and the Emergence of Metropolitan Fragmentation
The 1990 census marked a significant milestone in American urban development because for the first time in our history, a majority of Americans reported living in suburbs. In his classic work Crabgrass Frontier (1985), Kenneth Jackson documents the historical factors contributing to this suburbanization of America including a) the emergence of an anti-urban tradition in American thought, b) advances in transportation technology beginning with the development of the commuter railroads and continuing through the advent of the ubiquitous automobile, c) the creation of government housing programs that encouraged the building of single-family homes on the urban fringes and in newly developing suburbs, and d) population changes caused by the post-war baby boom. According to Jackson, this process resulted in a significant loss of community in American metropolitan areas as residents= social lives became much more privatized and less oriented toward community (1985), and suburbanites generally attempted to create and maintain greater political autonomy for themselves (Wood, 1958; Harrigan, 1993).
Indeed, the word suburb itself has taken on a different connotation over the years. Earlier, the term implied a relationship to a particular city, whereas today it implies being distinct from the city. This is evident, for example, when one simply compares the names of older suburbs such as South Chicago or East St. Louis with those of newer suburbs like Forest Hills and Florissant (Jackson, 1985, pp. 272-273). The upshot is that this spreading outward of metro populations has led those on the periphery to be less and less concerned with the problems of the central cites that they=ve left behind. In the latter part of the last century, central cities were able to recapture the resources represented by the fringe developments through aggressive annexation. But as the 20th century moved on and suburban areas gained greater representation in state legislatures, many states adopted restrictive annexation laws making it almost impossible for most central cities to employ this strategy further (Jackson, 1985; Rusk, 1996).
Hence, one aspect of political fragmentation in metro areas relates to the polarization of the attitudes of central city residents and suburban residents when it comes to questions of what to do about metro problems. Relative to Clark County, this can be seen in recent efforts to consolidate the Clark County, Springfield, and New Carlisle health districts and in recent annexation requests to the City of Springfield. County residents have viewed both of these efforts with significant suspicion, and Springfield Township Trustees have been particularly vocal about the negative effects of annexation on their revenue-generating capacity. In terms of the Health Districts Consolidation issue, during the period when the committee appointed to study the feasibility of combining the Districts was considering its options, the city of New Carlisle pulled its representative from the committee and refused to be part of the process or of any future potential combined district. The concerns of political autonomy on the part of New Carlisle can clearly be seen in the words of the city manager as she explains the Adisadvantages@ of the cooperative merger to her city council:
City council has significant influence over
the local control of the city health department because the city manager
is the health
commissioner. . . . Neither Clark County nor Springfield direct how or where our tax money will be spent and what it will be
spent on (Shrewsberry, 1996, p. 1).
This politics of autonomy that results in polarization between suburbanites and central-city residents is evident in studies of other metro areas in which a consistent finding is that service preferences differ between the two groups. In a study of residents of the Columbus, Ohio metro region, central-city dwellers were found to be more concerned with the environment and substandard housing, while education and transportation were deemed more critical by suburbanites (Orbell and Uno, 1972). Another study of metro areas in Wisconsin found that suburbanites were more willing to forego the expense of building water and sewer systems and instead preferred to rely on septic tanks and wells (Dye, 1965). The parallels between these findings and Clark County are interesting to consider when we look at the significant reliance on septic systems and wells in the county versus the city of Springfield=s advanced water and sewer systems.
As most scholars agree, this emphasis on maintaining political autonomy, along with a concomitant concern for limited government due initially to small size and few resources, led many suburbs to experience significant service delivery problems in the face of rapid growth and sprawl. At the time suburban sprawl began to become commonplace (generally beginning in the late 1950s), the principal funding mechanism for local government services was the property tax. Since many emerging suburbs did not have sufficient size to glean significant revenues from this type of funding mechanism, competition for industry and commerce intensified tremendously. However, there was not enough new development to go around, and suburbs had to find alternative ways to keep the costs of government reasonable while retaining their small town image and atmosphere. Two options with particular relevance to our discussion of political fragmentation were special districts and metropolitan districts.
A special district is a governmental unit that provides a single service to residents living in the district. Examples include water districts, sewer districts, fire districts, and economic development districts. Prior to the post-World War II expansion of suburban sprawl, there were only about 9,000 special districts in the United States. Today, there are close to 30,000 (Harrigan, 1993, p. 292). These districts were/are popular because they are a separate taxing authority with the ability to maintain low political and financial visibility. Usually, the taxes for special districts are collected by the county, so voters are either ignorant of the existence of the district or, at the very least, are confused about where their tax dollars are going. Over the years, this has helped shield special districts from voter wrath and the wave of tax revolt that has swept the nation in recent decades. Metropolitan districts are special districts that serve most, or all, of a metropolitan area. The most common examples are transportation districts, but probably the most famous one is the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Because of federal grants, bonding authority, and the fees they collect, metropolitan districts operate with considerable freedom from city council control.
Based on the discussion, it should be clear that metropolitan political fragmentation essentially has two dimensions, one attitudinal and the other structural. In terms of the first dimension, suburbanites and central-city dwellers tend to have different priorities and views about services and policies. Relative to the structural dimension, the increasing number of incorporated suburban communities and the tendency over time of those communities to create more and more special districts to provide services has led to a greater and greater number of governmental units in metropolitan areas. This has served to insulate policy decisions from political scrutiny as well as confuse voters about who=s making the decisions that affect their taxes and services.
Measuring Political Fragmentation
Because structural fragmentation may undermine democratic processes, it is the structural dimension that has received the most attention from scholars studying political fragmentation. One of the issues related to this is how to define and measure structural political fragmentation. The most common definition is the proliferation of local governmental units in a geographic region, which usually means the county, and this proliferation can take four forms: 1) the proliferation of incorporated communities, 2) the overlapping of city and county functions, 3) the existence and proliferation of special districts and authorities, and 4) the extension of cross-state boundaries in certain metro areas (Dolan, 1990, p. 29). A fifth form of fragmentation occurs when cities and/or the county create separate organizations and infrastructures to provide the same services. The most common examples can be seen in the public safety field when separate fire and police/sheriff departments exist side by side. The best example of this type of fragmentation in Clark County was the previous existence of three separate health districts and the egregious situation whereby two of them operated out of the same building.
Based on this definition of fragmentation, scholars have offered different measures of the concept. The most common measure is the total number of local units in a geographic region such that the greater the number, the greater the fragmentation. A potential problem with this measure is the fact that regions differ in population size. To control for the possibility that a greater number of governments is potentially serving a greater number of citizens, a second measure divides the number of governments by the number of thousands of people in the region to obtain a measure of the number of governments per thousand citizens. The same interpretation applies in that the higher the number, the greater the degree of fragmentation.
A third type of measure attempts to account for differences across governmental units in the amount of money spent, or taxes levied, and the potential inequities that can exist across units. One of these measures is referred to as the fiscal dispersion measure which looks at differences in total government expenditures across units (Dolan,1990). Other scholars have looked at distribution of tax burdens as a measure of fragmentation (Pelissero, 1995; Reeder and Jansen, 1995; and Stinson, 1968). Finally, we propose an additional measure based on the number of taxing districts in a geographic region or county. This can also be modified to control for population by dividing the sum by the number of thousands of people in the region. This measure is superior to the traditional number-of-governments measure because it accounts for the fact that some special districts and school districts cross city and township lines. Therefore, in each city or township that is encompassed by the special or school district, a taxing district must be set up to recover revenues earmarked for that special or school district. There are several examples of this in Clark County. Southeastern school district, for instance, crosses the borders of three townships--Madison, Green, and Harmony. If the traditional measure of number of governments is used, the total would be four (Southeastern school district, and Madison, Green, and Harmony Townships). With the new measure based on number of taxing districts, the total is six--three township taxing districts and three Southeastern Schools taxing districts. From a structural perspective, we believe this measure more precisely accounts for the political fragmentation that exists in counties. However, in the analysis below, several of the measures are used, depending on the availability of data. The implicit assumption is that political fragmentation is an undesirable situation since it usually impedes cooperative efforts to solve regional problems. However, not all scholars agree that structural political fragmentation in a metro region is a bad situation for citizens who live there. To understand the pros and cons of this, we turn to a brief review of the scholarly debate on the issue.
The Pros and Cons of Structural Political Fragmentation
Generally speaking, there are two schools of thought regarding the relative merits of fragmentation--the Reformist School and the Decentralist School. The Reformists view fragmentation with considerable disdain, and their ultimate proposed solution is to scrap the system and establish one large regional government. Decentralists decry efforts to abolish local autonomy, and make several arguments concerning the merits of regional fragmentation. Their essential concern is to leave the system alone. The arguments on both sides are worth considering as we ponder the situation in Clark County, Ohio.
The Reformists. The underlying assumption behind this perspective is that most of the problems plaguing metro areas are the result of political fragmentation. The arguments boil down to five essential points. First, citizens are continually confused and frustrated by a complicated system of so many governmental units. Efforts to figure out who=s responsible for what are often futile, and the complex maze of governments becomes mind boggling even for citizens who are fairly active and knowledgeable. Second, fragmentation is undemocratic because of the inability of citizens to closely scrutinize and/or control political decisions made by various semi-invisible special districts. Third, and relatedly, without ease of scrutiny, government is unresponsive and therefore undemocratic. Fourth, with all the different units, serious duplication and overlapping of service delivery occurs resulting in significant inefficiencies, a more costly local government, and turf battles creating a lack of cooperation in problem-solving among governments. Finally, inequalities and inequities emerge in revenues, expenditures, and policies, resulting in similarly-situated citizens being treated significantly differently depending on where they live in the metro area, with the classic example being per pupil expenditures in school districts (Wood, 1958; Ecker-Racz, 1970; Schlitz and Moffitt, 1971; Baird and London, 1972; Zimmerman, 1972; Hahn and Levine, 1980; Schneider, 1980; Yates, 1980; Grant and Nixon, 1982; Chicoine and Walzer, 1985; Sparrow and Brown, 1986; Rusk, 1993; Rusk, 1996).
The Decentralists. The argument from the Decentralist perspective boils down to one word--choice--and it=s grounded in the politics of autonomy that typically is cherished by suburbanites, as noted above. In fact, the significant amount of scholarly work in this tradition comes from a school of thought called Public Choice. The basic point is that above all else, citizens value the freedom to choose the level of government services that they desire. The best way to guarantee the existence of real choices is to foster competition among local governments providing services. The theory is that if local governments are able to offer different levels and kinds of services for different prices (i.e. taxes), citizens will then be able to choose the package of services they prefer. The only way to guarantee this situation is if metro areas are fragmented politically. These scholars also argue that the creation of a metropolitan government will be less democratic in that the number of avenues of access to politicians and decision makers will be reduced and the size of government will grow, making it less responsive. By their way of thinking, democracy can only occur with enhanced local control or autonomy. Thus, numerous but smaller local governments are preferable to one huge one. They also point to some research suggesting that governments undergoing some centralization have become more costly instead of less costly (Tiebout, 1956: Adrian, 1961; Ostrom, Vincent, and Warren, 1961; Hawkins and Dye, 1962; Williams, et al., 1965; Bish, 1971; Ostrom and Ostrom, 1971; Cook, 1973; Gustely, 1977; Martin and Wagner, 1978; Russell, 1979; DiLorenzo, 1981). Finally, these scholars question as unrealistic an implicit assumption of reformers that citizens in a metro area can really think of themselves as belonging to one community (Long, 1958).
Political Fragmentation in Clark County, Ohio
We turn now to a close look at the incidence of political fragmentation
in Clark County, Ohio. Recall that there are two dimensions to political
fragmentation--an attitudinal one and a structural one. The bulk of this
analysis is concerned with the latter. However, if regional cooperation
is to occur, attitudinal fragmentation could well be an impeding factor,
and there is some evidence to suggest that some local attitudinal polarization
exists. In a survey conducted for this study of all employees of the Clark
County Combined Health District (CCCHD), respondents were asked their opinions
about the benefits of consolidating the Clark County and Springfield City
Health Departments. 46 % of the respondents believed that either the city
or the county benefitted more from the consolidation or that there were
no benefits resulting from consolidation. They were asked to elaborate
on their responses, and the
following sample comments reveal the existence of a certain degree of attitudinal polarization. County residents feel their property values are higher, thus they pay more of the support. The city residents receive services paid for by income tax...Many
don=t work, thus don=t pay. . . . More services which receive no specific funding are received by city residents, i.e., garbage
complaints, school inspections, head lice consultations, AIDS cases, immunizations. The county residents face possibility of losing services to schools.
In another question, employees were asked whether they agreed with the statement that ASpringfield, County, Township, and Village leaders don=t want to discuss strategies for cooperation.@ While 21% disagreed, 36 % of the respondents agreed, and 39 % were neutral, suggesting at least the perception that attitidinal polarization exists among political leaders.
Perhaps the clearest evidence of attitudinal polarization emerges from the vote totals for the recent effort to establish a county-wide .9 mill levy to fund the Combined Health District. In spite of the fact that this would have been a brand new tax for residents of the City of Springfield while essentially functioning as a replacement levy for county residents, the voters in the county overwhelming rejected the levy by more than 5,000 votes, while Springfield residents came within 850 votes of passing it. The upshot is that further studies specifically designed to gauge the level of attitudinal fragmentation in Clark County would be worthwhile. For the present study, however, we turn our attention to an examination of structural fragmentation.
Governments in Clark County. To establish a baseline of knowledge about local government fragmentation, our initial task was to identify and briefly describe all the separate governmental entities in Clark County. For citizens to make reasoned judgments about fragmentation locally, it=s critical that they understand what units exist as well as what they do. This basic inquiry uncovered the existence of thirty-nine local governments in Clark County as enumerated in Table 1. As can be seen, the experience of Clark County is similar to the pattern noted earlier regarding the use of special districts. The existence of nine of these entities in the county essentially equals the number of townships (10) and villages (9). If the number of taxing districts is used as a measure, the number of governmental units increases dramatically by more than 47% (see Table 1.1).
Table 1: Governments in Clark County
County Cities Villages Townships School/Special Districts*
Clark New Carlisle Catawba Bethel Tecumseh Schools
Springfield Clifton German Springfield City Schools
Donnelsville Green Springfield Local Schools
Enon Harmony Northwestern Schools
Lawrenceville Madison Southeastern Schools
N. Hampton Mad River Mad River Green Schools
S. Charleston Moorefield Northeastern Schools
S. Vienna Pike Joint Vocational School
Tremont City Pleasant Warder Library District
Springfield Combined Health District
Solid Waste Mgmt. District
Joint Economic Dev. District
Clark County Park District
Mental Health District
N. Carlisle Library District
*Cedar Cliff, Fairborn Consolidated, and Yellow Springs Exempted Village School Districts are excluded from the analysis since they do not totally reside in Clark County, although they do contribute to fragmentation and are considered in one of the measures used below.
General Government Tax District Special/School District
County of Clark Warder Library District
City of New Carlisle Combined Health District
City of Springfield Clark County Park District
Village of Catawba Mental Health District
Village of Clifton Joint Economic Dev. District
Village of Donnelsville Conservancy District
Village of Enon Bethel TWP-Tecumseh LSD
Village of North Hampton Bethel TWP-NC Library Dist.
Village of South Charleston Bethel TWP-Springfield LSD
Village of South Vienna Bethel TWP-VD-Tecumseh LSD
Village of Tremont City German TWP-NW LSD
Bethel Township German TWP-VL-NW LSD
German Township German TWP-VTC-NW LSD
Green Township Green TWP-SE LSD
Harmony Township Green TWP-MRG LSD
Madison Township Green TWP-MRG LSD-FD#2
Mad River Township Green TWP-Cedar Cliff LSD
Moorefield Township Green TWP-VCL-Cedar Cliff LSD
Pike Township Harmony TWP-NE LSD
Pleasant Township Harmony TWP-VSV-NE LSD
Springfield Township Madison TWP-SE LSD
Mad River TWP-MRG LSD
Mad River TWP-Fairborn CSD
Mad River TWP-Yel Sprgs. EVSD
Moorefield TWP-NE LSD
Moorefield TWP-NW LSD
Moorefield TWP-Sprgfld CSD
Pike TWP-NW LSD
Pike TWP-VNH-NW LSD
Joint Vocational SD
Pleasant TWP-NE LSD
Sprgfld TWP-Sprgfld LSD
Sprgfld TWP-Sprgfld CSD
City of Sprgfld-NE LSD
City of Sprgfld-Sprgfld LSD
City of Sprgfld-Sprgfld CSD
of Tremont City; SE-Southeastern; MRG-Mad River Green; FD-Fire District; VCL-
Village of Clifton; NE-Northeastern;VSV-Village of South Vienna; CSD-City School District; EVSD-Exempted Village School District; VNH-Village of North Hampton
County Government. Counties function as administrative units for state government in most states including Ohio. Only two states, Rhode Island and Connecticut, do not have counties. In Ohio, counties were first established by Congress under the auspices of the Northwest Ordinance in 1787. By 1851, the last of Ohio=s counties was organized. Clark County carries out a range of functions for the state as well as certain local functions that have been added over the years. By state law, counties operate under a 3-member Board of Commissioners who serve overlapping four-year terms. Commissioners in Clark County have elected to appoint an administrator as the chief executive officer. The Commissioners share power with eight other independently elected officials: Auditor, Clerk of Courts, Coroner, Engineer, Prosecuting Attorney, Recorder, Sheriff, and Treasurer. The only power the Commissioners have over these other officials is through the budget process. In a nutshell, the basic health and welfare of state citizens is the responsibility of the counties. In 1996, Clark County had a budget of $112 million.
Townships. Originally, townships were laid out by the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation in 1785 according to the basic requirement that land be surveyed for sale in the early days of the Republic. These original geographic regions have been used by the Ohio legislature as a way of organizing the unincorporated areas of counties for administrative purposes. Townships exercise only the powers granted by the General Assembly. They are governed by a three-member board of trustees and are responsible for essential services such as road maintenance, fire protection and cemetery management. As Brian Williams (1990) suggests, a township trustee=s job is not a white-collar one. Table 2 provides the 1996 tax budgets for the ten townships in Clark County.
Table 2: 1996 Tax Budgets of Clark County Townships
Township Total Tax Budget, 1996*
Bethel $ 1,820.639.15
German $ 954,065.42
Green $ 834,892.17
Harmony $ 883,512.73
Madison $ 318,444.70
Mad River $ 1,367,860.80
Moorefield $ 1,855,945.50
Pike $ 1,096,459.19
Pleasant $ 292,368.00
Springfield $ 2,221,082.36
Total All Townships $11,645,270.02
*Based on 1st Amended Official Certificates which include all forms of revenue
Cities and Villages. Municipal governments in Ohio are classified as villages if their populations are less than 5,000. As noted in Table 1, there are two cities and nine villages in Clark County. Ohio law allows municipalities to function under one of three plans: 1) general law, 2) option plan laws, and 3) home rule. Most of the villages in Clark County operate under the general laws which allow for a weak mayor-council form of government. South Charleston and New Carlisle operate under the option plan laws which allow for the adoption of a council-manager form of government. Springfield operates under the home rule provisions of Article XVIII, section 7 of the Ohio Constitution, which gives it broader powers and autonomy from state government general laws. Table 3 details the 1996 tax budgets for the cities and villages.
Table 3: 1996 Tax Budgets for Clark County Cities and Villages
City/Village Total Tax Budget, 1996*
Catawba $ 210,843.10
Donnelsville $ 56,677.00
Enon $ 1,239,255.82
Lawrenceville $ 101,886.08
New Carlisle $ 4,131,776.04
North Hampton $ 213,097.00
South Charleston $ 1,205,502.89
South Vienna $ 1,998,603.47
Tremont City $ 133,363.20
*Based on 1st Amended Official Certificates which include all forms of revenue
** Clifton is primarily in Greene County and reports to Greene County Auditor.
Special Districts. As noted in the previous discussion, special districts have become increasingly popular in recent decades, contributing to structural fragmentation; the experience in Clark County is no exception. This research identified nine special districts operating in the county. Each type of special district is authorized by a separate law, and each has its own designated funding mechanism. Our definition of special district includes only those that are sufficiently independent from a general government (e.g., county, city, village, or township) to be considered a separate governmental unit. Certain sewer, fire and ambulance districts exist, but operate under the auspices of the county or townships. In short, our enumeration of special districts underestimates the degree of fragmentation.
Port Authority. In July of 1989, the County Commissioners took action in conjunction with the County Commission of Fayette County to create a two-county Port Authority, pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code, for the purpose of preventing the abandonment of the Grand Trunk Western Rail line between Springfield and Washington Court House. By state law, port authorities have the power to acquire, dispose of, and operate transportation and economic development related functions. They may also issue bonds and receive intergovernmental aid. Later, Champaign County joined the partnership creating The West Central Ohio Port Authority (WESTCO PA), and it currently owns track in Champaign, Clark, Fayette, Logan, and Madison counties. It operates with a 7-member Board of Directors and an appointed administrator. To date, although it has the power to do so, WESTCO PA has not issued any bonds. It has received roughly $3.5 million dollars in state and federal grants for acquisition and improvements of rail track.
Library Districts. There are two library districts in Clark County--Warder and New Carlisle. These are allowed by the state to be created by the county commissioners through the referendum process. In the case of the New Carlisle district, the referendum applied to the city of New Carlisle. The Warder District is governed by a 7-member Board consisting of three members appointed by the Common Pleas Court and four by the County Commissioners.
Conservancy District. The Springfield Conservancy District was created by resolution in 1929 under the auspices of the Ohio Revised Code for the purpose of flood control. These districts may issue bonds, levy property taxes, and with voter approval, fix rates and assessments.
Combined Health District. Under the auspices of the Ohio Revised Code, counties must authorize a general health district. Cities may also operate their own districts. The City of New Carlisle has chosen to do this. Springfield also chose to do this until July of 1996 when it combined with the county health district. The combined district is currently funded with an .8 mill levy in the county and a subsidy from the City of Springfield=s general fund. The general state and local laws with regard to public health are administered and enforced by the health district.
Clark County Park District. Section 1545 of the Ohio Revised Code allowed for the creation of the Clark County Park District in 1978. It is governed by a 3-member Board of Commissioners who are appointed by the Probate Judge. They serve for 3-year terms. The district is authorized to place a levy on the ballot, but it has not done so to date. It receives 1.2 % of the county=s local government fund monies (state-shared revenues). It employs a full-time executive director, one full-time maintenance person, and some seasonal part-time workers. It is a fully-sanctioned law enforcement agency and has independent powers of annexation.
Joint Economic Development District. With the cooperation of the City of Springfield and Green Township, the Joint Economic Development District was created under the auspices of the Ohio Revised Code for purposes of developing Air-Park Ohio. Membership on the Board consists of representatives of the political subdivisions. The Board has instituted a wage tax of 1 % on the incomes of citizens working in the district for purposes of funding economic development activities.
Solid Waste Management District. House Bill 592 mandated all counties to establish solid waste management districts. In October of 1988, the Board of Clark County Commissioners passed a resolution pursuant to state law establishing the Clark County Solid Waste Management District. The governing body of the district is the Board of County Commissioners. A 7-member Policy Advisory Committee develops policy for the District and recommends it to the Commissioners. A 15-member Technical Advisory Committee exists to provide broad based, diverse representation for evaluating technical matters. Funding for the district comes from the current generation fee established pursuant to section 3734.573 of the Ohio Revised Code. Initially, the fee was $2.00 per ton of waste generated, but in November of 1995 the fee increased to $6.19 per ton. The County Commissioners have the power to suspend the fee and assign additional funds to programs as deemed warranted. In addition to the generation fee, disposal fees have also been established, but with no landfill currently operating in the county, the fees do not generate any revenues. In the first couple of years, some contract fees were also generated by the district.
Clark County=s Political Fragmentation in Comparison to Other Counties
How fragmented is Clark County political authority? How do the County=s 39 governmental units compare to other counties in Ohio and in the rest of the United States? Do we experience more or less fragmentation than most, or is ours about average? To answer these questions, several types of data were collected. First, in terms of Ohio, information on the number of governmental units in all Ohio counties was difficult to obtain. Thus, a new measure that we argue is actually a more precise measure of fragmentation was created from the total number of taxing districts in each county. These data were obtained from the Ohio Department of Taxation=s Rates of Taxation Guide for 1996 and were supplemented with the Ohio Department of Taxation=s computer file on the 1995 Special District Tax Rates. Still, a problem emerges since the measure created includes only the number of property tax districts in each county, plus each county sales tax district. Many municipalities rely on the wage tax, and they are not included in this measure. Hence, the measure underestimates fragmentation in all counties, but it does so indiscriminately, thus making it a reasonably good comparison measure.
Secondly, census data on population size, total taxes, total local government revenues, total local government expenditures, and total personal income were obtained for each Ohio county from the 1996 County and City Data Book. These data were also obtained for a sample of U.S. metropolitan counties referenced in Rusk (1996).
Table 4 compares Clark County to all Ohio counties in terms of several indicators of structural fragmentation and government costs. As can be seen, Clark County is typically at or within one standard deviation of the mean for each of the indicators displayed. Of particular note are the measures for number of taxing districts, number of taxing districts per thousand population, and cost of government. Recalling the debate in the literature over the pros and cons of structural fragmentation, Reformists would typically prefer an absolute measure of fragmentation such as the total number of taxing districts, while Decentralists would prefer a relative measure by controlling for population (Dolan, 1990), with the number of taxing districts per thousand population being the example in this case. Given these two measures, Clark County does not suffer from a significantly high degree of political fragmentation. Using the absolute measure, the county is within one standard deviation below the mean of all Ohio counties. When the relative measure is used, Clark County is close to two standard deviations below the mean for all Ohio counties. Finally, one of the concerns by Reformists is that political fragmentation leads to higher government costs. As a rough test of this hypothesis, three measures of government costs were created, and simple correlation analysis was used to examine the relationship between them and fragmentation. First, the total amount of own source local government revenue (total local revenue minus intergovernmental revenue) was divided by total personal income for the county. This standard measure results in the percentage of personal income going to support local government. Generally, other studies have shown that counties with greater than 10% of personal income going to support local government are more than one standard deviation above the mean for all cities (see Pelissero, 1995). Hence, a figure above 10% could be considered excessive in terms of the cost of government. As shown in Table 4, the average for Ohio counties is only 5.9 %, with Clark County just below the mean at five %. A second measure was simply the taxburden (total local taxes divided by the population), and the third measure was per capita local government expenditures for the county. Once again, for both these two measures Clark County is close to the mean for all Ohio counties. In relative terms, then, Ohio counties do not have excessive government costs, including Clark County.
What about the relationship between fragmentation and costs? Table 4.1 shows the Pearson correlation matrix for the three cost measures and the two fragmentation measures. A common finding in the literature is that the absolute measure tends to be positively correlated with costs, while the relative measure tends to be negatively correlated (e.g., see Dolan, 1990). As can be seen, this is also the case for the Ohio data. With the exception of local government costs, which are not significantly correlated with either fragmentation measure, it is not clear which way fragmentation covaries with costs. In short, the answer depends on which measure is used. Given these results, the correlation analysis was repeated using only the metro counties in Ohio to get a more accurate comparison with Clark County. Table 4.2 compares the measures of government costs and fragmentation for all metro counties in Ohio to Clark County. Again, in all cases Clark County is at or below the mean of the other 40 metro counties. What about the relationship between fragmentation and government costs for Ohio metro counties? Table 4.3 displays the results of the correlation analysis. Three key findings emerge from these coefficients. First, the correlations between the two fragmentation measures and the three costs measures are stronger for the metro counties than for all counties. Second, again the absolute measures are positively correlated while the relative measures are negatively correlated. Third, for the metro counties, fragmentation (as measured relatively) is significantly related to the local government cost measure, whereas it was not statistically significant when all counties were included. Once again, though, the answer to the question of whether fragmentation is positively or negatively related to the costs of government depends on which measure of fragmentation is used.
Finally, how do Clark County=s government costs compare to a sample of non-Ohio metro counties? To answer this, 15 counties were selected at random from the sample of 22 analyzed by Rusk (1996, p. 4) in his study of Baltimore, Maryland. Five counties were selected from each of Rusk=s three elasticity categories--low, low-medium, and high-hyper. Table 4.4 compares the measures of government costs for Clark County with averages for all of the sample counties, as well as with the averages for each category of elasticity as identified by Rusk (1996, p. 4). Once again, Clark County is typically at or below the mean for these measures of government costs when compared to these non-Ohio metro counties.
Summary and Conclusions Regarding Political Fragmentation in Clark County
The overall conclusion that emerges from this analysis is that Clark County is fairly typical of metro counties in Ohio and in the United States. ASlightly Below Average@ is the key description when one considers the degree of fragmentation present in the county. Specifically, compared to other Ohio counties, Clark County is within one standard deviation below the mean for number of taxing districts and close to two standard deviations below the mean for number of taxing districts per thousand population. Relative to government costs, Clark County is again very close to the mean for most measures, including tax burden, per capita expenditures, and the standard Acost of government@ measure (total own source revenue divided by total personal income).
What about the relationship between fragmentation and Springfield=s relative elasticity? Earlier in this study, it was noted that if Rusk=s (1993) elasticity concept was applied to Springfield, it would be placed in the Alow@ category. This is undoubtedly due in part to the resistance to annexation over the years by townships. However, the data gathered do not allow a specific test of this assumption.
Finally, when compared to counties outside Ohio, similar conclusions about Clark County being average can be drawn, which raises the question: ACan we do better?@ In short, should we be satisfied with being typical, or is there sufficient political will to pursue strategies designed to reduce the fragmentation that does exist? If so, what are the prospects for further cooperation among political leaders and the mass public? To help answer this question, we turn to a case study of the recent effort to consolidate the Springfield and Clark County Health Districts to see if there are some lessons to be learned about the problems and prospects of cooperation.
Indicator Average for All Ohio Counties Clark County
Gov't Rev $1,747 ($422) $1,705
Taxburden $ 619 ($199) $ 657
Revs as a 10.4% (2.7%) 9%
% of Total [7.7% - 13.1%]
Taxing Districts 49.86 (19.72) 37
[18 - 133]
Taxing Districts .861 (.530) .25
Per 1,000 Pop [.06 - 3.14]
Gov't Exp $1,620 ($311) $1,717
Cost of Gov't** 5.9% (1.5%) 5%
Per Capita Own
Source Rev*** $998 ($309) $935
*Standard deviations in parentheses and ranges in brackets
**Own source revenue as a percentage of total income
***Own source revenue=total local revenue minus intergovernmental revenue
#TaxDist TaxDist/1000 LGCOST TAXBUR Per Capita EXP
#TaxDist 1.000 -.329 .027 .482 .347
(----) (.002) (.805) (.000) (.001)
TaxDist/1000 1.000 -.066 -.459 -.341
(-----) (.539) (.000) (.001)
LGCOST 1.000 .509 .729
(-----) (.000) (.000)
TAXBUR 1.000 .743
*P values in parentheses
Indicator Average for Ohio Metro Counties Clark County
Gov't Rev $1,774 ($396) $1,705
Taxburden $ 670 $ 657
Revs as a % 9.7% (1.7%) 9.0%
of Total [6.0% - 15%]
Taxing Districts 58.75 (22.8) 37
[33 - 133]
Number of Taxing
Districts Per .501 (.312) .25
Thousand Pop. [.06 - 1.26]
Gov=t Exp $1,700 ($360) $1,717
Cost of Gov=t** 5.7% (1.2%) 5.0%
[4.0% - 9.0%]
Per Capita Own
Source Rev*** $1,065 ($319) $ 935
*Standard deviations in parentheses and ranges in brackets
**Own source revenue as a percentage of total income
***Own source revenue=total local revenue minus intergovernmental revenue
#TaxDist TaxDist/1000 LGCOST TAXBUR Per Capita EXP
#TaxDist 1.000 -.368 .189 .472 .448
(-----) (.020) (.241) (.002) (.004)
TaxDist/1000 1.000 -.440 -.620 -.679
(-----) (.004) (.000) (.000)
LGCOST 1.000 .744 .825
(-----) (.000) (.000)
TAXBUR 1.000 .878
*P values in parentheses
Total Gov't Revs as a % of Total Personal Income
Per Capita Gov=t Exp
Cost of Gov=t**
Per Capita Own Source Rev***
**Own source revenue as a percentage of total income
***Own source revenue=total local revenue minus intergovernmental revenue
Is Cooperation Possible?: The Case of the Health Districts Consolidation
We turn now to the question of whether political fragmentation can be minimized in Clark County through cooperative efforts between the various governmental units. The case of the efforts to consolidate the three health districts in Clark County is instructive as we consider whether further cooperation is possible. The bumps in the road along the way to combining the health departments of Clark County and City of Springfield point to the potential problems of efforts in this regard.
Duplication, Confusion, and Inequity. For several years local political leaders and observers have pointed to the existence of three Health Districts in Clark County as an egregious example of political fragmentation. The most serious criticisms of this situation were usually couched in phrases such as Aduplication of structures,@ Ait confuses the citizens,@ and Acitizens aren=t being treated equally.@ As noted earlier, from a Reformist perspective all these statements were true. Duplication existed in the form of three sets of supervisory-level employees and three Boards of Health. Confusion existed in that the Departments, particularly the Springfield and County Departments, operated with different sets of hours, policies, and procedures. Finally, perhaps the most critical problem was that within Clark County as a whole, similarly-situated individuals and businesses were being regulated and treated differently depending on where they lived or operated in the county. The best examples of the inequities created by fragmentation in the delivery of health services can be seen in the regulatory fees and licenses that businesses paid to operate in Clark County. Table 5 displays a sampling of the differences in regulatory costs associated with operating various businesses and enterprises in Clark County and the City of Springfield when two health departments were in existence. As can be seen, regulatees certainly had reason to complain about unequal treatment, and even though many of the differences are not monetarily substantial, they are substantial enough to create irritation and grumbling about lack of fairness. From a democratic perspective several of these minor irritations can add up to significant legitimacy concerns for local government.
Regulated Activity Fee/License
Master Plumbing Application $100 No Fee
Limited Appliance Installer Application $ 20 No Fee
Apprentice License (New & Renew) $ 25 $ 15
Limited Appliance Installer License (N&R) $ 20 $ 10
Limited Appliance Dealer License (N&R) $ 40 (+ $5,000 $ 30 (+ 2,000
FOOD ESTABLISHMENT INSPECTION FEES*
Seasonal Establishments $ 30 $ 35
Pre-packed Sellers $ 30 $ 35
Carnival or Roadside Sellers $ 30 $ 35
Food Establishments of 2,500 sq. ft or more $150 $150
Food Establishments of less than 2,500 sq. ft. $ 75 $ 75
SWIMMING POOL INSPECTION FEES
Individual Public Swimming Pool $175 $165
Individual Public Spa $175 $165
MOBILE HOME PARK LICENSING FEES
Park With Less Than 50 Lots $100 $140
Park With Greater Than 50 Lots $100 (+ $1.00 for $140 (+ $1.00 for
each additional each additional
lot over 50) lot over 50)
Combined Park/Camp With Less Than 50 Lots $100 $140
Combined Park/Camp With More Than 50 Lots $100 (+$1.00 ea. $140 (+$1.00 add. lot) ea. add lot) FOOD SERVICE OPERATIONS LICENSE FEES
Risk I $100 $115
Risk II $220 $239
Risk III $270 $396
Risk I $ 50 $ 57.50
Risk II $110 $119.00
Risk III $135 $198.00
*In addition to these food inspection fees, the city charged a late fee of 25% and a plan review fee ranging from $10 to $30.
From Turf Battles to Consolidation: Triggering Cooperation. In spite of the considerable rhetoric of the last several years about the need to combine the health districts in order to reduce fragmentation, turf battles between township trustees and the City of Springfield over the seemingly unrelated issue of annexation kept the distrust and suspicion among political leaders at a high enough level that the issue of consolidation never advanced up the agenda. As recently as February of 1994, Dean Hodge, the former Health Commissioner, stated in a City Health Board Meeting that he had essentially stopped pushing the issue due to the lack of interest among the township trustees caused by the distrust and concern over Springfield=s annexation policy. However, later that same year the County Health District experienced a budget crisis requiring a hiring freeze and, according to Ohio law, the potential that the townships= and villages= budgets would have to be assessed to make up the difference between the revenues generated from the Health District=s own sources and the necessary expenditures for providing essential services. After several in-house budget maneuvers, the total deficit could not be made up, and in June of 1994, the County Auditor officially assessed the townships and villages on a per capita basis for a total of $19,515.86. The budget crisis continued, and about a year later, in August of 1995, the Auditor again instituted a per capita assessment for a total of $20,416.12. These assessments hit hard at the limited budgets of the townships and villages, and were a key factor in moving the issue of consolidation to the top of their political agendas. At about the same time, the City of Springfield began to examine its revenue base which will be jeopardized by the expiration in about five years of Issues 6 and 7 which established the city income tax as the primary source of tax revenue. This led city officials to consider ways to reduce costs, and the consolidation of the health districts quickly moved to top of their agenda as well.
The Feasibility Committee. In late summer of 1995, a committee was established to study the feasibility of combining the then three existing health districts with representation from the City and County Boards of Health, the City of Springfield, the County, the Townships, and the City of New Carlisle. The committee met throughout the fall and into the winter of 1996 working on three principal issues of concern relative to consolidation: 1) personnel matters, 2) legal issues, and 3) financial issues. The critical issue became the financial one, and it was agreed by all committee members that if the financial incentive was not present, the township trustees could not be convinced that consolidation was a good option. In other words, the townships were going to be supportive of a plan that would guard against the chance that their budgets would again be assessed in the event of a fiscal crisis. Eventually an agreement was reached to consolidate the Clark County and City of Springfield health districts. Legally, this agreement required the majority approval of the District Advisory Council (made up of representatives from each of the political subdivisions) and the Springfield City Commission; this agreement was obtained. As mentioned earlier, the City of New Carlisle opted out of the consolidation efforts mid-way through the negotiations. The agreement called for the two districts to be combined effective July 1, 1996, and to be governed by a 7-member Board of Health appointed by the District Advisory Council and confirmed by the Springfield City Commission. The TB clinic was to be folded into the combined district, and for the remainder of 1996, the City was to pay a pro-rated amount equivalent to the balance of the $661,435 general fund subsidy that the City Health District was to have received during the fiscal year. The existing .8 mill county-only levy was also to be continued. In addition, the linchpin to the whole agreement was that the city would guarantee an additional annual $300,000 ($15,000 of which could be used each year for capital purchases) for five years against any budgetary shortfall, thus virtually eliminating the possibility that the township and village budgets would get assessed again. Future funding was to be secured via a county-wide (exclusive of New Carlisle) .9 mill property tax levy which was placed on the November 1996 ballot. With the agreement in place and the new Board of Health appointed, the work of getting the levy passed began in earnest.
The Levy Campaign: Cooperation Hits a Snag. Once the new Board of Health was in place, a levy committee was created. However, hints of the eventual failure of the levy surfaced almost immediately as the initial campaign chair backed out of his commitment to chair the campaign and to raise the lion=s share of the levy campaign funds. Additionally, for much of 1995 and into 1996, the health districts were operating without a full-time Health Commissioner, and a search had been ongoing to bring in a new Commissioner. Although the Co-Acting Commissioners maintained the day-to-day operations, the key duties of promoting the Health Department were being left unfulfilled, and the positive image-building that was needed was done to some extent by the Board members themselves, particularly the President, but in the end it was too little too late. Finally, due to the significant personnel changes that were potentially around the corner, several employees of the Health Department were not as supportive of the levy as they could have been if they had been more comfortable about what the consolidation would mean for them personally. In the end, the levy failed by a fair margin, primarily the result of significant opposition in the county.
Efforts to Keep Consolidated. After the dust had settled, the feasibility committee met again and recommended to the District Advisory Council that the two health districts remain combined and that a 1.0 mill levy be put on the November 1997 ballot. This plan was rejected by the Council in favor of a plan to stay combined, with the City of Springfield contracting with the consolidated health department for health services. This strategy is currently being pursued.
Lessons of the Health District Consolidation Efforts
What are the lessons that emerge from the case study of the efforts to consolidate the health districts? If further cooperation in other areas is going to succeed, it=s worth considering the things we have learned from this foray into reducing fragmentation. Based on the events associated with the health district consolidation effort, we believe four lessons emerge: 1) money talks--financial benefits to cooperation must be perceived by the entities involved; 2) employee involvement from the outset is critical; 3) stable transformational leadership is a necessity; and 4) complexity begets confusion. These lessons are discussed below.
Money Talks. It seems obvious, given the inherent suspicions of each other and the concerns local officials have about autonomy, that one key ingredient to getting the issue of cooperation to the top of local agendas is to look for and amplify the potential financial benefits that would accrue from efforts to reduce fragmentation. In the case of the health district consolidation, it seems readily apparent that this was the most important factor that got the idea off the ground. Had it not been for the two assessments levied in 1994 and 1995 against the township and village budgets, and the City of Springfield=s eventual $300,000 guaranteed cushion against assessments, it=s almost a certainty that the consolidation efforts would never have seen the light of day. In this same vein, the lost opportunity to bring New Carlisle into the consolidation occurred primarily because the City Manager of New Carlisle failed to see any financial advantage to joining the effort (Shrewsberry, 1996, p. 1).
Employee Involvement is Critical. Hindsight being 20/20, it=s fairly clear that a strategic mistake was made early on in the process in not allowing employees of the two health departments to be more involved in the discussions regarding consolidation. Initially, although employees could attend the meetings of the Feasibility Committee, there was no period during these meetings for public comment. Although this soon changed, the message that was sent by the Feasibility Committee was that personnel matters could be dealt with primarily after the consolidation occurred. Because of this perceived lack of openness to personnel concerns, frustrations among the health department staffs mounted to the point that they demanded to submit lists of questions and concerns to the Feasibility Committee for study and consideration. These concerns were then handed to the Personnel Managers of the City and County with the request that some recommendations be submitted to the Feasibility Committee for the purpose of examining various options regarding personnel benefits and policies. In the end, although these recommendations were provided to the Committee, the employees believed they had been substantially shut out of the process, and several of them dug in their heels and resisted the consolidation.
In an effort to gauge employee opinion, a survey was conducted in January of 1997 designed to elicit attitudes toward the consolidation. All 56 employees were provided surveys, and 47 were returned for a response rate of 84 %. While the results are mixed, there is an overall undertone of poor morale and uneasiness existing among the employees. Several specific findings are worth noting in this regard. First, relative to the initial feasibility study, 58 % of the employees responding disagreed that the process was open, while only 15 % agreed. Moreover, 70 % of the respondents disagreed with the statement that all issues were considered during the Feasibility Committee=s study period, while only 6 % agreed that all issues were considered. When asked if they believed services had improved after the consolidation, 43 % disagreed while only 17 % agreed. Finally, regarding morale in particular, 63 % indicated they believed morale to be good prior to the consolidation, 35 % reported it to be fair, and only 2 % thought it was poor. In contrast, when asked their opinion of morale after the consolidation, a whopping 72 % believed it to be poor, and 28 % reported only a fair rating. None indicated that morale was good after the consolidation.
These findings support our conclusion that when local officials pursue other efforts to foster cooperation and reduce fragmentation, the employees involved in the delivery of the services should be included in the initial discussions and throughout the process. In the case of the health district's Feasibility Committee, for example, it seems that at least one employee from each of the health departments should have been a member of the committee, in either a voting or nonvoting capacity. This would have helped to ease employee concerns a bit, as well as further legitimize the concept of consolidation. The immediate tangible benefits perhaps would have included stronger levy support among all employees.
The Need for Stable Transformational Leadership. Trying to foster change in government and bureaucracy is a monumental task. Part of the reason for is the simple fact that in a democratic system, such as ours, bureaucratic structures and routines represent past dominant coalitions of interests and agreements on the best ways to organize to solve community problems. Given this fact, it should not be surprising that bureaucracies and the constituents they serve and regulate will resist efforts to change their established routines. To some extent, we as citizens ought to expect bureaucracies to resist change, otherwise stable policy implementation will be difficult to maintain. However, when sufficient agreement about the need for change is present, a critical element to the success of the change is stable transformational leadership. Various scholars studying leadership have recognized the important role of a leader in changing an organization=s culture in order to move the organization in new directions (e.g., see Bryman, 1992). Part of this role involves the creation of a vision that is used to communicate new values to the members of the organization. The mechanism of a vision can only succeed, however, if leaders engage in entrepreneurial strategies to encourage employees to think beyond what Rosebeth Kanter (1983) refers to as Asegmentalism@ (p. 28) by which she means the tendency to compartmentalize problems and responsibilities and to view with suspicion any efforts to integrate organizational units into teams of problem solvers oriented toward ends instead of means. Organizations with segmented cultures are characterized by conflict, jealousy, mistrust, and a limited exchange of information between units (Kanter, 1983, p. 27-34). From this perspective, it=s reasonable to classify the public health organizations in Springfield/Clark County prior to the consolidation as characterized by segmentalism. Evidence of this comes from the survey of employees, and two questions that asked them to rate how well they thought their own department was serving the community prior to the consolidation and how well they thought the other department was serving the community prior to the consolidation. When rating their own departments, 85 % of the respondents believed the service was excellent or good, while only 15 % believed the service was fair or poor. In contrast, when rating the other department, 63 % believed the service was excellent or good, while 37 % thought it was fair or poor.
The point here is that given the tendency for segmentalism in bureaucratic agencies, major changes such as the health districts consolidation effort require leadership that is both stable and transformational. Employees need a vision to get them to rise above segmentalism and to focus on the goals and mission of the organization, rather than their self interests. As it turns out, part of the failure of the levy and the continuing struggle to maintain the combined health district are rooted in two key leadership problems early on: 1) the vacancy in the Health Commissioner=s position during the Feasibility Committee=s work phase and during a considerable period in the critical early days of the combined district and levy campaign and 2) the waffling and eventual resignation of the initial levy campaign chairperson. The laudable efforts of the rest of the levy campaign committee notwithstanding, it became an incredible uphill battle to convince key constituencies (including health district employees) to support the levy once this leadership was lost. Similarly, with no Health Commissioner on board during the crucial planning stages to provide a vision of public health different from the existing segmented perspectives, employees could think of nothing more than their own self-interest. Even after the districts had been combined for six months, 35 % of the respondents to the survey disagreed with the statement that the districts should stay combined, and only slightly over half (52 %) agreed with the statement. As suggested, the roots of this sentiment are no doubt linked in part to the lack of stable transformational leadership in the critical stages of the discussions regarding change and consolidation. This lesson is a hard one to learn.
Complexity Begets Confusion. A final lesson that emerges from the case study of the consolidation of health districts relates to the potential problem of information overload. This is a paradoxical issue. On the one hand, efforts to reduce fragmentation inevitably involve difficult and complex legal, institutional, and political negotiations. On the other hand, support for major change can be hard to muster when there are seemingly too many issues for key constituencies to digest in a positive fashion. In our example, the individuals involved in the decisions regarding the consolidation made a concerted effort to be forthcoming and explain the several component parts of the consolidation agreement and funding mechanisms. Yet, in the end the complexity of the proposal proved to be an important barrier to successful levy support. In short, there were simply too many people who could not understand how the consolidation would generate net benefits over and above the no change option, i.e., retaining two health districts. Perhaps this was unavoidable in this case. Yet, the challenge of effectively communicating the positive aspects of reducing fragmentation remains critical to successful cooperation between governmental units, and it certainly is underscored by this example.
Conclusion: Think Regionally. The case study of the effort to consolidate health districts clarifies the need for Clark county residents to begin to think more regionally about community problems. The barriers to this kind of thinking, created by political fragmentation and segmentalism, need to be seen for what they truly are--barriers to progress toward dealing with regional issues and problems. The fragmentation created by the two health districts is an excellent example of what the authors of the best-selling book, Reinventing Government, refer to when they say, AThe central failure of government today is one of means, not ends@ (Osborne and Gaebler, 1992, p. xxi, emphasis in original). Public health problems have no inherent jurisdictional boundaries. They are multi-regional problems; therefore, they require regional strategies to be solved. Other issues dealt with throughout this comprehensive study of Clark County are also regional problems, requiring regional solutions. Political fragmentation significantly hinders efforts to think regionally and ultimately blurs our focus on the ends of government. George Latimer, the former mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota, probably summed this notion up the best when he said, AI find that the most significant and complex problems are those questions of the future that do not stop at a city border@ (quoted in Osborne and Gaebler, 1992, p. 246). What about the future of Springfield and Clark County?
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