GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A group that wants to see more the City of Grand Rapids and Kent County sharing of services is ready to go public with its ideas.
The Kent County Community Collaboration Work Group emerged following the failure of the group know as One Kent to get their hurry-up plan to consolidate local government.
That controversial group wanted the merger of Kent County and Grand Rapids governments on last fall's ballot. But One Kent backed off amid complaints from critics who said they weren't getting enough answers.
"I'm not sure they were really brought down. I mean, I just think they took a step back after unveiling their plan," said County Commission Vice Chair Jim Saalfeld, who chairs the Community Collaboration Work Group. "But they did set the table with some important points that I think are worth discussion in the community."
Wednesday, the collaboration will outline key areas where government can improve efficiency and maybe even save some precious tax dollars by working together.
One area of government they'll talk about is the most costly to taxpayers: Public safety.
"I can tell you among the county alone, it represents 38% of our budget," Saalfeld said. "If you want to have successful collaboration, you need to look at the areas which are going to have the most impact. And those are going to be the areas that have the largest amount of your budget."
Saalfeld says while his committee's work is done, others, like the Chamber of Commerce, have been lined up to step in and take recommendation to the next level.
"I know for a fact that there's already groups out there that are wanting to address some of these recommendations when they come out," he said, added that those were not necessarily only government groups.
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