Joint meetings pave way for collaboration

Published 12:13 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2017

As the city and county governments plan a relatively rare joint meeting later this month, it would be a perfect time to consider the idea of having sessions like this on a regular schedule.

This joint meeting — the first one since last summer —  was called to allow both groups to talk about funding and budgeting for the growing costs of emergency medical services.

The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. March 14. Hopefully citizens take the opportunity to attend and learn more about these vital public services.

Overall, these two government bodies work well together, which seems to be the exception more than the rule for many communities.

The city and county share expenses on a variety of projects including emergency medical services, parks and recreation and industrial development. They also have a revenue sharing agreement when it comes to taxes from the hospital, the schools and other entities.

Collaboration and partnerships remain key components to keeping costs down and maximizing efficiency when it comes to providing services to the citizens of Winchester and Clark County. This also helps eliminate duplication of services.

We thoroughly support this upcoming joint session to discuss the growing expenses of EMS, but we would also like to see the city and county set sessions that would alternate between specific projects and serve as a general forum for citizens to speak with their elected leaders.

Taking a step back and looking holistically at every component of government and public services on a regular and consistent basis will be key to helping the city and county serve taxpayers in the best way possible in an era of growing expenses, unfunded mandates and reduced government funding.