Metro Council moves forward

August 13, 2010
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Members of the Grand Valley Metro Council will review a full report from the group’s Executive Committee in a few weeks regarding a new direction that the 20-year-old organization may take.

A subcommittee comprised of Executive Committee members recently suggested five strategic initiatives that the council should focus on and pursue to reinvent itself.

The five initiatives were:

  • Examine the council’s current structure and operating procedures, and develop a plan to reinvigorate the organization’s role in its sub-regions.

  • Renew its emphasis on economic development by strengthening its relationship with the region’s economic development agencies.

  • Develop an ongoing method to help member governments manage administrative, policy and local issues better.

  • Assist communities with identifying, analyzing and developing service-sharing agreements for the delivery of public services.

  • Develop and administer training and educational opportunities for elected officials, administrators and staff members.

“We realize that there needs to be a little more polishing of the apple,” said Don Stypula, GVMC executive director, of the list.

“We are going to move forward aggressively on the strategic initiative plan. We are going to bring you value. We are going to save you money,” he added.

The effort to redefine the Metro Council began last fall when Kent County officials indicated that the benefit the county received from GVMC didn’t equal the roughly $70,000 it pays each year in membership dues. Since then, Jamestown Township has withdrawn from the council. The Ottawa County township was the council’s smallest member.

The Executive Committee will review the list next week, and the full council board will take a look at the committee’s report at its next scheduled meeting Sept. 2.

Just a few months ago, the council’s to-do list contained 39 items to consider. Reducing the number to five pleased some of the members.

“I think you’re moving in the right direction,” said Milt Rohwer, who represents the city of Grand Rapids on the council. “I look forward to the next move.”

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