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When Centennial, Colo., incorporated 10 years ago, Arapahoe County and numerous special districts already provided most public services in the area. Aiming to keep taxes low and government limited, Centennial's founders decided to only take on new services that could not be performed cost-effectively by contracting with neighboring jurisdictions, private businesses or non-profit organizations. Collaboration is at the core of Centennial's operations, and it has developed contracting and monitoring procedures that maintain those collaborative relationships with service providers and sister agencies in the metropolitan Denver area.
In this interview with American City & County's Managing Editor Lindsay Isaacs, interim City Manager Dave Zelenok discusses Centennial's organization and method of working with multiple service providers. He shares lessons learned from the city's experience with public-private partnerships and explains how city leaders decide whether to outsource services. For more information about one of the tools Zelenok mentions, the Public Cost Comparator, also known as the Public Sector Comparator, visit the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
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