Virtual Regionalism

David Stephenson has written an Op-Ed piece for the Boston Globe calling on Massachusetts Governor-elect Deval Patrick to use the Web to create better state government. David lists several examples of how eGovernment initiatives in other states have made government better. He also makes some suggestions that go beyond merely adopting what others are doing, including something he calls "virtual regionalism:"

Most creative would be what I call "virtual regionalism ": not statutory regional bodies, but ad hoc, voluntary ones helping communities with similar interests and problems to collaborate on shared solutions. If the Office of Commonwealth Development or Administration and Finance hosted a variety of collaboration tools such as " wikis, " officials in a given community could form ad hoc alliances to discuss and manage services with, for example, other communities served by the same state highways, with similar concentrations of immigrant residents, similar economic bases, etc. These shared tools would allow municipalities to lower costs with joint bidding on equipment, evaluate the impact of large proposed development projects, work out sharing of specialized DPW or fire equipment, etc. Because virtual regionalism wouldn't be statutory, communities could instantly form working arrangements -- and dissolve them if they are no longer were relevant.
From A Web strategy for better state government - The Boston Globe
Referenced Mon Nov 13 2006 09:34:10 GMT-0700 (MST)