City, county work together on foundation

Published 9:59 am Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Everyone has heard the axiom that collaboration is critical to success.

We could not agree more, but the reality is it is far easier said than done. When you are talking about local governments working together, it often gets even more challenging.

Clark County residents need to pause and take notice of how well its city and county governments cooperate to provide critical services and improve the quality of life here.

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This point was driven home by Tuesday morning’s State of the Community meeting hosted by the Winchester-Clark County Chamber of Commerce.

Led by Mayor Ed Burtner and Judge-Executive Henry Branham, the meeting brought a combination of more than 50 community leaders and local youth together to talk about where we came from, where we are now and where we want to go.

“Local governments are so often referred to as the government of the people. Where the rubber meets the road.” Branham said. “Local government is the government the citizens depend on for immediate services.”

Although the overall tone was certainly optimistic when it comes to the positive things going on here, no one in the room came across as naive or oblivious to the fact the community has some challenges to overcome.

Still, the conversation about groups working together was exciting and goes back to the joint meetings between the city and county governments that didn’t happen even a decade ago.

The city and county have a revenue-sharing agreement on key developments such as the schools and Clark Regional Medical Center. The city and county also partner on tourism, planning and zoning, parks and recreation, ambulance service and 911 dispatching.

These partnerships start at the top with Burtner and Branham but continue with the magistrates, the city commissioners and on to the various boards and departments.

“You can either talk about cooperation or you can do something about it,” Burtner said. “We have chosen to do something about it.”

Much of the meeting focused on the successes, but there was significant acknowledgment of the opportunities.

Winchester and Clark County are on the cusp of great things and progress that could come at a rapid pace.

All of this momentum continues to build because of the foundation that has been built on the strong working partnerships between our city and county governments.