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View from the Cordillera

A Commentary on Achieving Excellence in Local Government
Read by Municipal Leaders on 4 Continents
Published by the Cordillera Institute
(Vol. 4, Issue 24)
Surviving and Thriving in an Irrational World (part 2):  Where Should Local Government Be Headed?
Guest Author
Brian Lee Crowley
Managing Director
Macdonald-Laurier Institute
Ottawa, ON, Canada
For more information on our guest author, see the About the Author section below.

To order the full text of this commentary or to become a subscriber, see the notes below.

Summary of This Commentary
In part 1 of this guest commentary, Dr. Crowley demonstrated why forced municipal mergers are irrational.  He exposed the myths used to support this agenda and explained why its results fail, time after time, to deliver on its promises.  In part 2, he outlines a rational solution for local government which will not only enable municipalities to survive but to thrive in these irrational times.  Components of this solution include decentralizing local government, taming the special interests, stimulating competition — both internal and external, encouraging experimentation, measuring and comparing performance, focussing on core functions, stressing customer service, rewarding staff performance, ... and more.  There's even a section on the proper role of senior government.  For those just beginning the journey to excellence in local government, this is a valuable road map.  For those already on the journey, you can use this as a checklist of key bases to be covered.

About the Author
Brian Lee Crowley is the founding Managing Director of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, a public policy think tank opening its doors in Ottawa in March 2010.  Prior to that he spent 15 years as the founding President of AIMS (the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies), a regional think tank based in Halifax (Nova Scotia).  He has twice won the leading international prize for excellence in think tank publications, the Sir Antony Fisher Award.  In 2006-08 he was on secondment as the Clifford Clark Visiting Economist with the federal Department of Finance.  This is the most senior independent economic policy advisory position within the federal government and carries with it the rank of Assistant Deputy Minister.  During his time in Ottawa, Dr. Crowley worked on a broad range of policy files and redesigned the pre-budget consultation process.  In 2007 he was named one of the 100 most influential people in Ottawa by The Hill Times.  His latest book, Fearful Symmetry: The fall and rise of Canada's founding values, has been a big national bestseller in Canada since its release in September 2009.

As always, we welcome your comments.

David Barber
Director
Cordillera Institute
(416) 293-9300
CordInst@istar.ca
http://pages.istar.ca/~cordinst/



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To Inform Your Colleagues and Associates
If you would like to share View from the Cordillera with your colleagues and associates, we will be pleased to send them a complimentary copy, together with a note acknowledging your referral.  Just send us an email with the word 'Refer' in the subject line.  Please include your name, title, and organization as well as the names, titles, organizations, and email addresses of those to receive the package and we will do the rest.  Or, you may simply forward this summary to them.

About This Publication
Each issue of View from the Cordillera covers some aspect of excellence in local government.  It may examine one of the success elements; it may present a case study; it may introduce a resource (an individual, a group, a publication, etc.) which is advancing excellence; it may advocate a new direction for local government; or it may identify a wrong turn in public policy and offer an appropriate remedy.  This electronic publication is read by those who govern, manage, support, and sustain our local governments.  For more information, just click on the About VFC button below.

About the Cordillera Institute
The Cordillera Institute is an independent research and public policy organization dedicated to excellence in local government.  Since our founding in 1994, we have studied many high-performance organizations to learn what makes them successful.  From this research, we have distilled a set of principles, paradigms, policies, programs, and practices which are the key elements of their success.  Our mission is to be a catalyst — to empower municipalities, school boards, public utilities, and other local public agencies to achieve excellence by adopting and applying these success elements.  For more information, just click on the About CI button below.

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