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As if reading my mind. . .

The Boston Globe led today with Property tax bills soar as services fall. According to the story’s author, Matt Carroll, the average annual property tax bill for a single-family home in Massachusetts has climbed 50% in just the last seven years. To make it worse, the increases are not used to expand services, but go instead toward fixed costs – pension and other post-employment benefits for retired and retiring public workers, particularly healthcare, whose costs are quickly escalating beyond the ability of cities and towns to pay for them. Is it any wonder that voters, already facing such large increases on their tax bills, are casting an increasingly jaundiced eye on Prop 2 1/2 overrides? (See my post on Dartmouth’s […]

Transforming Urban School Districts through Choice

Roe Paper No. 20 2007 Author(s): Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability — Publication date: 2007-09-01 Category: Better Government Abstract: The Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability (FERA), based in Albany, New York, has been implementing a school-choice initiative – the Albany Project – that has created high-quality charter schools to serve more than half of the local public school student population in the state’s capital city. FERA believes that a district composed of choice schools can better serve students, parents, and the community than the traditional urban school district system. The Albany Project is demonstrating that the charter school model – freedom from state regulations and education bureaucracy, freedom to innovate, and increased accountability – can better serve all […]

Repair, Replacement, Renovation and Maintenance Program

Roe Paper No. 19 2007 Author(s): Hillsborough County, Florida — Publication date: 2007-09-01 Category: Better Government Abstract: The Repair, Replacement, Renovation and Maintenance (R3M) Program concept is a strategy for managing Hillsborough County’s physical assets. The purpose of the R3M Program is to protect investment in infrastructure, reduce the maintenance backlog, control and reduce costs, minimize waste, and to maintain public buildings and facilities in a safe and efficient condition. [wpdm_package id=85]

Extending the Stat Model Across the Commonwealth

Roe Paper No. 18 2007 Author(s): Somerville SomerStat Program — Publication date: 2007-09-01 Category: Better Government Abstract: After nearly a decade of evolution, municipal Stat programs, such as NYPD’sCompStat and Baltimore’s CitiStat, have proved very successful in improving city service delivery and cutting unnecessary spending. Though slightly different in each implementation, all Stat programs involve frequent meetings at which key decision-makers and department heads review data on operational performance, identify problems and solutions, and track follow-up. The City of Baltimore reported $70 million in savings attributable to CitiStat in its first three years of operations. [wpdm_package id=84]

Reducing Unnecessary Institutionalization of Senior Citizens

Roe Paper No. 17 2007 Author(s): ProVentive — Publication date: 2007-09-01 Category: Better Government Abstract: This proposal involves collecting and integrating existing data on the health of elderly patients. This information would be used to construct patient profiles to help predict and prevent unexpected incidents. A data-driven coordination of programs and services would aid in early interventions, and also help evaluate how different strategies, programs, and agencies could reduce unnecessary nursing home institutionalization. [wpdm_package id=83]