The chief executive officers of the region's Fortune 500 companies and the mayors of the three largest South Hampton Roads cities are teaming up to explore how the region could benefit from potentially sharing public services. The Hampton Roads Partnership is organizing the pilot Hampton Roads Shared Services Project (SSP) with Management Partners, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based management-consulting firm that specializes in helping local government leaders.
This joint public-private venture combines the business expertise of the top executives from Amerigroup, Dollar Tree, Huntington-Ingalls, Norfolk Southern Corporation, and Smithfield Foods with the municipal government acumen of the leaders of Chesapeake, Norfolk and Virginia Beach to analyze those services that offer the greatest opportunity for successful integration to reduce service delivery costs while providing the best service quality.
"With multiple adjacent cities in the Hampton Roads area, there are opportunities for cities to share services and avoid the costs of providing those services separately," said Wick Moorman, CEO of Norfolk Southern and chair of the SSP. "The ability of business leaders in the region to work successfully with government leaders offers a particular opportunity to take advantage of shared services and reduce the cost of local government."
Management Partners recommended the Hampton Roads Partnership take the lead role in organizing shared services projects as part of a coordinated regional initiative. The first pilot project includes the cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Results will determine potential future projects.
The steering committee guiding the project held its first meeting Nov. 30. The steering committee includes E. Dana Dickens, III, president and CEO of Hampton Roads Partnership; William Harrell, Chesapeake City Manager; Rick West, Chesapeake City Council; Marcus Jones, Norfolk City Manager; Barclay Winn, Norfolk City Council; Jim Spore, Virginia Beach City Manager; Glenn Davis, Virginia Beach City Council; James Fothergill, chief people officer of Dollar Tree; Jeff Gough, Smithfield Foods vice president for Human Resources; and Tina Gill, Amerigroup vice president for External Relations Operations. Jim Hixon, Norfolk Southern executive vice president-Law and Corporate Relations, serves as chair of the steering committee, which plans to meet monthly. Cost of this pilot project is $150,000, shared equally among the participating cities and five Fortune 500 companies.
"We all know that government at every level is trying to figure out how to maintain and even improve services under difficult budget conditions," said James G. Carlson, chairman and chief executive officer for Amerigroup Corporation. "We are certainly happy to help, especially when we see local leaders willing to put aside boundaries in search of more affordable and effective services for their constituents. This makes sense for all involved."
The team will scan each of the three cities' organizations to identify public services for further analysis, assess which of those services are the most likely candidates for sharing among jurisdictions, analyze the costs and benefits of integration and identify the steps required to integrate them.
"The ultimate objectives of the project are to save taxpayer money and improve government efficiencies," said Dickens, "which could also establish a basis for future sharing and improvement of services for citizens."
"This project will not solve every budget problem, but it's a great start using collaboration, cooperation and consensus," said Management Partners president and CEO Jerry Newfarmer. "Sharing services is not a new idea; it's as old as local government itself. The Hampton Roads' project has real potential, though, with this trailblazing partnership of city governments and the business community."
Targeted for completion in early 2012, the team will produce a report, which municipal leaders could use to implement shared delivery of specific services and potentially make a positive impact on their budgeting process. Management Partners has recommended this approach based on its extensive experience in helping a large variety of governments under different circumstances take advantage of opportunities to consolidate or share in service delivery.
Find more information including project progress at http://hrp.org/Site/sharedservices.
The Hampton Roads Partnership is a public-private nonprofit organization formed in 1996 and represents ten cities, six counties and one town in Southeastern Virginia, equaling nearly 1.7 million citizens. Comprised of the chief elected officials of all seventeen communities as well as community leaders from the private business sector, education, military, and labor from both south Hampton Roads and the Virginia Peninsula, the Partnership is the only organization in Hampton Roads that focuses on the region's strategic issues for enhancing its competitiveness in today's global economy with resulting income and job growth for its citizens. Led by the Hampton Roads Partnership and the Planning District Commission, the first region-wide comprehensive economic development strategy, Vision Hampton Roads, created a roadmap of strategies and actions - to engage citizens and embrace ongoing region-wide economic development practices.
Management Partners, founded in 1994 by president and CEO Jerry Newfarmer, provides clients with the expertise of professionals with extensive experience in all aspects of local government management and the full range of city and county services. Staff includes former city managers, analysts, department directors and other public service professionals with experience in a variety of program areas. Newfarmer is a national leader in local government performance management, having led his firm to nationally recognized expertise in municipal development review processes, strategic planning, budgeting and finance, and organizational analysis.
SSI Media Contacts:
Jerry Newfarmer, Management Partners, (513) 861-5400 (JNewfarmer@ManagementPartners.com)
Mark Cox, City of Chesapeake, (757) 382-6241 (MCox@CityOfChesapeake.net)
Bob Batcher, City of Norfolk, (757) 664-4338 (Bob.Batcher@Norfolk.gov)
Mary Hancock, City of Virginia Beach, (757) 385-4436 (MHancock@VBgov.com)
Maureen C. McDonnell, Amerigroup Corporation, (757) 473-2731 (email@example.com)
Tim Reid, Dollar Tree Stores, (757) 321-5284 (TRied@DollarTree.com)
Gerri Dickseski, Huntington Ingalls Industries, (757) 380-3552 (Gerri.Dickseski@hii-co.com)
Robin Chapman, Norfolk Southern Corporation, (757) 629-2713 (Robin.Chapman@NScorp.com)
Keira Lombardo, Smithfield Foods, (757) 365-3050 (KeiraLombardo@SmithfieldFoods.com)