Keeping Your Local City Government Honest and Efficient – Case Study and Recommendations – By Lance Winslow

By Lance Winslow

Many cities are in deep trouble during this economic downturn, but even if your city is not you should work to see that it remains streamlined and does not waste taxpayer’s money. In our local city we find it run very well, unfortunately with sales tax receipts down a bit, our city like all cities must tighten its belt. Especially considered there will not be much help from the county, state or federal level anytime soon.

There are many ways to help a city through the tough financial times and I have several comments and recommendations, but first I’d like to compliment the City of Palm Desert, my local city, on their excellent work. Now then, my recommendations are as follows;

I.) Mayor’s round table should be divided into “4-Groups”

* A.) A Retail Businesses Group
* B.) A Professional Businesses Group
* C.) A Technology Business Group
* D.) A Services Business Group

The regular Mayor’s Business Round Table should continue as is. These additional sub-groups would meet at a different time no less than every other week. This would give better input and it might take up more of the Mayor’s time, but it is well worth it.

II.) Secondly, every 5-10 years a city needs to have a red-magic marker committee that looks into all the city ordinances and revises them. But, it should not be made up of a bunch of lawyers. The City Attorney and the rest business people, non-profits, HOAs, etc. All laws on the books at the city level should be gone thru with a fine-tooth comb for possible deletion, where the city cannot afford to enforce, or they are too onerous or burdensome.

Keeping your city or my city efficient is the right thing to do and shows prudence. Do not allow your city to bulge into a blog of bureaucracy. Please consider this

By Lance Winslow


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Lance Winslow

Sure, the Mayor’s Round Tables are in some form in every city. But I suggest that this scenario is broken down further into four sub-groups, as many of the current Mayor’s Round Table are not filled with the right people, just the same Good Ole’ Boys network. Luckily our city is run extremely well, but having done business in some 450 cities in my career in Franchising, I was often amazed and the lock-down and over micro-management to the detriment of the local small-business community and thus, city tax revenue. It’s obviously a huge problem.