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Government Innovations Forum

The Government Innovations Forum formed in 1997 to manage communications between managers and jurisdictions and help implement Managers' Roundtable ideas and initiatives. Supported by contributions from 56 cities and counties, the Government Innovations Forum provides staff support to the Managers' Roundtable and its initiatives and connects members with a variety of regional research and decision-making mechanisms through MARC's Local Government Services program.

Periodically the MARC staff will facilitate a priority setting session through the Government Innovation Forum. The priorities focus on emerging issues or trends. These priorities fall into three general categories: manager support, cooperative initiatives, and building regional capacity.

City/County Manager Support

  • Facilitate communication with and between city and county managers through the monthly newsletter, periodic luncheons and working meetings, e-mail, brief surveys and research. Develop a listserv communications mechanism for metro managers and assistants to seek feedback from their peers.
  • Work with managers and assistants to identify common issues, regional initiatives, and research topics.
  • Organize leadership development opportunities that include: the Leadership Academy for Local Government Executives; an annual conference series in partnership with the Government Training Institute and the Kansas City Chapter of ASPA on the future of local governments; and one-time workshops on emerging trends in leadership.
  • Develop a research and education agenda around emerging issues facing local governments. This could include: the changing nature of local government revenue and how local governments can cope with these changes; research such issues as sales tax and the Internet, telecommunication-related revenue, and examining the impact the changing economy has had on the local government tax system.

Cooperative Initiatives

  • Expand the work of the Kansas City Regional Purchasing Cooperative. Develop cooperative contracts, which would include the expanded use of the Houston-Galveston Area Council contracts, contract database, and the goal to execute new contract-sharing agreements with other purchasing cooperatives.
  • Explore with managers the establishment of additional common services, including the provision of certain seldom used highly technical positions, such as elevator inspector; joint contracting for shared services, such as Information Technology support; and other cooperative programs such as sharing equipment and lease-purchase financing.
  • CORE4 Facilitation – Continue to assist the four jurisdictions that make up the CORE4 initiative, the City of Kansas City, Missouri, Jackson County, Missouri, Johnson County, Kansas and Unified Government of Wyandotte County-Kansas City, Kansas. Assistance includes facilitating seven work groups to successfully achieve goals to coordinate and collaborate on programs and services. In addition, MARC is facilitating discussions with the chief elected and administrative officers in their efforts to explore and proactively initiative collaborative efforts.

Regional Capacity Building

  • Provide staff support for the First Suburbs Coalition, supporting efforts of older suburbs in the region to address housing, commercial and infrastructure challenges.
  • Cooperative Minority Recruitment for Local Government Positions – Establish a regional strategy to engage minority youth to introduce the job opportunities available in a public service career, especially public safety positions.