County Executives Must Lead on Shared Services

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With so many municipalities in fiscal distress, there is an opening for the next Northampton County Executive to lead on shared services, coordinate service sharing agreements between member municipalities, and even begin offering a la carte County services that municipalities can buy into.

Right now Nazareth wants to contract with the Colonial Regional Police, but the plan needs to get approval from each of the other municipalities that uses CRP. That means there are a lot of veto points where a shared service agreement could fail, even if a majority support it.

If John Callahan’s administration started up a Northampton County Police Department to serve the places that currently have no police, and then started offering that service to places like Nazareth, there’d be no need for three or four different sets of votes. My preference would be to do it in two votes. The municipality votes to contract with the County police, and once that’s approved, then it becomes an administration decision on the County side, with no vote from County Council. County and municipality negotiate a contract, and then it goes back to the municipality to approve it:

The chairman of the Colonial Regional Police Commission said attorneys and officials from each member municipality are reviewing a proposal to provide police coverage to Nazareth.

But that doesn’t mean a plan will be approved without public input, members of the Nazareth Borough Council Police Committee assured a crowd of about 12 at tonight’s meeting.

Hanover Township officials have reviewed the deal and sent it to Lower Nazareth, according to Glenn Walbert, the Colonial Regional Police Commission chairman. Then it will go to Bath.

“Once all the attorneys are happy with the language, it goes back to each municipality for the final vote,” Walbert said.

(via Pamela Sroka-Holzmann)

This entry was posted in Miscellany.

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