Reaching Across Borders Can Be A Win For Towns, Cities

Reaching Across Borders Can Be A Win For Towns, Cities

Bristol Press Editorial, Dec. 16, 2016

The state of Connecticut is divided into 169 towns, each one unique — and each proud of its uniqueness. For centuries, the residents of these metropolises and boroughs have held tight to their individual histories and local governments, determined to maintain their independence. That is to say, they avoided shared governance and insisted on local control of the smallest detail.

Even when a more regional approach might make sense and save money.

Gradually, that attitude is changing as wise leaders realize that pooling their resources can mean a stronger — and less expensive — operation.

That seems to be the case as the Bristol Community Organization and New Britain’s Human Resources Agency come together — nudged by fallout from the state budget deficit. From what we read in Friday’s Bristol Press, all services for both agencies will remain intact in New Britain and the towns served by the BCO, including Burlington, Plainville, Farmington and Plymouth; the main change is that administrative functions and offices will be in New Britain.

 

We can expect more from CCM back to top

It’s another sign that, however slowly, regionalization is gaining a foothold in the state. We have seen it work as towns shared resources by creating health districts. Waste treatment was another opportunity. The Mattabassett District serves New Britain, Middletown, Berlin and Cromwell, as well as portions of Farmington, Newington and Rocky Hill.

And we can expect more. This winter, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities announced the formation of a new “state-local partnership panel” to find ways to ease burdens on property taxpayers. High on the list was a proposal to deliver services regionally.

Frankly, it’s just common sense. Why duplicate administrative functions? It makes more sense to follow the lead of HRA and BCO and keep the emphasis on the wonderful services that each organization provides to impoverished individuals and families — that is, to those who need them.