One of the major effects of the recession was that local governments were forced to reevaluate their size while ensuring that they would still be able to provide all the necessary services. Finding the right size of local government for your community is a delicate, difficult, and highly individualized task. There is no one-size-fits-all-solution; only you know your community’s needs.
Below you will find some resources on the Knowledge Network that address different issues related to resizing and downsizing local government. While this is undoubtedly a stressful time for local governments, it can also be a time for innovative solutions!
- “The Five Stages of Denial When Rightsizing.” This presentation, given at the 2011 ICMA Annual Conference, defines “rightsizing,” explores key considerations about rightsizing, and provides case studies and success stories.
- “Using Data to Right-Size Police and Fire.” This presentation from the 2011 ICMA Annual Conference shows an innovative strategy for rightsizing police and fire departments.
- "Fleet Management" is a case study from Peoria, Arizona, which shows how City Manager Carl Swenson took this opportunity to look for cost savings proactively and succeeded at finding savings across departments upward of $1 million.
- “Creating a New Future for a Downsizing Organization” is an article from PM Magazine that provides twelve strategies for building employee spirit and passion while reshaping an organization.
- “Downsizing Is Rough.” This is a case study that discusses the different ways in which a local government can downsize and provides a cost-benefit analysis of some of those ways.
- "What Options are Left When Downsizing in no Longer an Option…" This document, written by a Northern Illinois University professor, is about strategies for small-town city managers who need to go beyond downsizing their governments.
As always, if your local government has already come up with innovative solutions to resizing, please share them on the Knowledge Network! You can submit them as documents or post them below and the Knowledge Network Team can upload them for you. We all benefit when great ideas are shared, so don’t be shy! Post a document or a comment today!